The idea behind the Tonie Box is to create something magical when you mix listening and playing ! Are you worried about the amount of screen time our little ones have nowadays? The Toniebox is a great interactive alternative. It is very user friendly once the adults have set it up for them. I love the idea of the creative tone as you can record anything, but it’s in your voice which i think is really special.
Ok, so what exactly is it… The Tonie Box is effectively a speaker made of a soft, sustainable fabric. They say it is ‘soft enough to cuddle but tough enough for really hands-on kids’ so if they drop it, it isn’t the end of the world. You will get Tonie’s to put on top of the speaker (they are magnetic) and each one is programmed with stories. Each Tonie is hand painted and they are excellent – you can even play with them as figurines when not listening to stories. They have taken a lot of the popular kids stories and created Tonies out of them. You can even get one programmed with Christmas Carols ! See a few examples below:
The Tonies sell for £14.99 which is on the higher end but considering a book can cost you anywhere between £5 and £10, I feel that these are worth it. You probably won’t end up buying loads, but you can buy your kids favourites and explain how they are special ‘ books’.
My favourite part is the Creative-Tonies. These cost £11.99 but you are able to fill them with up to 90 minutes of audio. You can put on anything you like – you can sing, read stores yourself or add cd’s / audio books you may already have access too. I downloaded the app on my phone, linked my Creative Tonie and then read a few of my daughters favourite books into my phone. A quick synch with the Toniebox and there were the stories read out in my voice. My daughter loved it. I think its quite a nice idea if you are going away, and your little one is staying with the grandparents, they can still have their stories read to them by mummy and daddy (although they probably will want nana’s story – ha).
Now some of the technical details – the Toniebox has 7 hours of battery life when fully charged. It charges on a docking station that is includes in the Toniebox package. The Toniebox costs £69.95 and includes a creative Tonie. Another thing I should mention is once its been set up and you’ve linked the Toniebox to the Tonies (on wifi), you are able to use them without wifi – so great in the car or when you’re away. Controlling the Toniebox is simple – the controls are all on / in the box. If you need to turn the volume up or down, just press the ‘ears’ on the box. To skip between stories / chapters just tap on the side of the box. Its very clever.
Georgia who is now 3 and a half loves having her stories read to her by ‘blue’. She still enjoys the old fashioned reading but I think the Toniebox is a nice option to have as an alternative. If you want your kids to have some down time (away from the screens) you can turn on a Tonie and have them read a story.