The Madhouse kids have already started getting excited about Christmas - Pierre happily announced to me last week that he was looking forward to starting his advent calendar on Thursday so he's obviously been counting down the days to the end of the month on the calendar ! Christmas came a little bit early this week when we received this beautifully wrapped product from Casdon to review.
When I said to Pierre that he had an advance Christmas present that he could open straight away, he was absolutely beaming !
He certainly didn't need telling twice and excitedly ripped off the wrapping paper. (Maybe it should be renamed ripping paper !)
He was delighted to discover a Casdon Chip 'n' Pin Till hiding inside.
After unpacking everything, the first job was assembling the flatpack food boxes and sticking the adhesive labels on the plastic replica tin cans.
They were quick and simple to put together and the big sisters were happy to help out.
Once we'd finished, we had a nice little selection of groceries to stock our pretend supermarket.
Meanwhile, Pierre had moved on to the pretend money (both coins and notes) and bank cards, sticking on the stickers and carefully signing his name on the back.
There were also several stickers to stick on the till to make it look prettier and also more realistic.
There are two parts to the till - firstly the cash register with a drawer that opens and closes, making a cash-jingling sound, a receipt dispenser and a real working calculator, so that your little learner can enhance his maths skills, along with his social skills and imagination, while playing. There is also a pretend microphone and Pierre had us in hysterics with his "bing bong" messages for all the family !
The second part is a realistic looking card reader, complete with two sturdy plastic bank cards. First, your child has to make sure that they have put the card round the right way and the first light will flash orange. We were all (even the grown ups) impressed to learn that the cards have a unique 4-digit pin code (written in the instructions leaflet and also embossed on the back of the card if you look closely at the edge) so that when you put the PIN number, it flashes green if you have the right code and red if you've got it wrong, just like in the real world.
The card reader can be attached to the till or kept separately, which is ideal if you have two children who both want to explore the till simultaneously and have fun pressing all the buttons.
Pierre and big sister Juliette had great fun playing shops, and it was great to see them working out the prices and correct change to give from the till.
It's a lovely toy with lots of things to press and discover and the fact that it is so realistic makes it easy for children to recreate trips to the supermarket, instinctively knowing how to use the card reader and open the till. I've even had Pierre asking me if I want cash back and giving me my points balance as he hands back my card, which made me smile because I never realised that he was taking all this in when we go shopping ! I used to love playing with my very basic till when I was a child, and this is a great modern version with all the technology used in real-life supermarkets.
Just one thing to bear in mind if you're buying this as a Christmas gift - you'll need to buy batteries as they're not included : 3 x AA for the till and 2 x AA for the card reader so make sure you have enough !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £15
for more information : www.casdon.co.uk
Disclosure : I received the product in order to write an honest review.