By Rebecca Roper
Storytime has just got a lot more exciting thanks to the Toniebox - a magical audio box for children that plays their favourite books and songs.
What’s so great about the Toniebox is that you can take it anywhere, making it the perfect travel companion. It can be played even without access to Wi-Fi and has 7 hours of battery life, making it ideal for long car journeys and days away from home. The Toniebox comes with a charging station but is also battery-operated so you don’t have to worry about it running out of charge and having to deal with a very upset Toddler.
So how does it work? You simply turn on the box, pop on your chosen Tonies character and the book / songs download over Wi-Fi. Once you have downloaded the first time, that’s it and you can play it anywhere - even without an internet connection. When you're done listening, simply take the Tonie off and the story stops. It really is an audio adventure for children, sparking their little imaginations, bringing their favourite books and songs to life.
There are lots of Tonies to choose from, so there really is something for everyone. From Julia Donaldon’s hit books The Gruffalo, Zog, Stick Man, The Highway Rat and Room on the Broom, to Disney classics The Lion King and The Jungle Book and TV favourites Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam. But Tonies don’t just offer audiobooks. They also have a selection of Children’s Songs - Animal Songs, Bedtime Songs & Lullabies, Christmas Carols and there’s even a super-cute Fox Tonie that plays Counting Songs and Times, making them educational too.
They are recommended for ages 3+, but as long as your child is under supervision they will also provide hours of fun for toddlers, especially the musical Tonies, which are guaranteed to have them clapping their hands and stamping their feet, dancing (or crawling) around the nursery.
In addition to the standard Tonies, you can also buy Creative-Tonies, which allow you to record up to 90 minutes of whatever you like, from your very own stories, to songs or messages. For example, say you were going away on business for a week, you could record yourself reading your child’s favourite bedtime story, so they felt you were still at home with them. Or if your little one’s grandparents live abroad, they could record heart-felt messages to keep in touch, via the Toniecloud. This is such a lovely touch, allowing children to take their favourite storyteller with them, wherever they go. And amazing for parents, who can say goodnight, or goodmorning no matter where they are.
The Tonies themselves are beautifully made and your little one will undoubtedly want to collect them all. Every Tonie is hand-painted and magnetically attaches to the Toniebox. Thankfully they are robust too, so you don’t have to worry about your child breaking them.
The box itself is also very sturdy, making them tough enough to withstand hands-on children! They are made of sustainable fabric and also feature a headphone jack, perfect for if you want your children (and you) to have some much-needed quiet time!
What we also love about the Toniebox is it’s interactive controls, putting storytime in the hands of children, making it a truly interactive experience. You simply have to squeeze an ear on the box to change the volume up or down, tap the box’s sides to change chapters / songs and tilt to fast-forward or rewind.
Bournemouth Baby Centre is a huge fan of the Toniebox and they feature in many of the staff’s houses. The box itself makes a lovely present and the Tonies make great gifts for birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions. It’s a box bursting with creative energy. Seeing children’s faces light up as they pop on their favourite character is so heartwarming.
The Toniebox brings families closer together and a product that makes your child look forward to bedtime, definitely gets a thumbs up from us!
Tonie Starter Sets (available in six different colours) are available from Britain’s Baby Centre for only £62.96. We also stock all of the wonderful Tonies characters and Carry Cases, that hold up to and protect 20 Tonies.