The moment I heard about the Toniebox, I knew our family needed one. My older kids have had a CD player for years, and coincidentally, it only worked for about one of those years (hmm, as I'm typing this it's occurring to me that maybe I should get rid of it....). CDs and tapes (yes we someone have some of those too.... practically antiques at this point!) just aren't super easy for kids to use. They're easily damaged and difficult for little ones. I had been searching for a kid-friendly solution, and lo and behold, the Toniebox came to America last year!
What is the Toniebox? Basically it's an audio system that allows kids to independently listen to music and stories. The Toniebox Starter Set comes with a Toniebox and one Tonie (it's the Playtime and Action Songs puppy-- it used to come with a Creative Tonie--more on that later).
The Tonie figures are magnetic and "stick" to the Toniebox so kids can carry it around without the music or story stopping.
Y'all, my number one favorite thing about the Toniebox is the Tonies. They're charming, and kids just LOVE them. My youngest (she's three) carries around her entire collection of Tonies on a regular basis. Not only are they how she plays music and stories, but they've also become some of her favorite little buddies.
We usually recommend starting with the Toniebox Starter Set and two additional Tonies. It's enough variety and gives you the chance to pick a few you know they'll love. There are many licensed Tonies (Minnie, Mickey, Paw Patrol, etc) but my personal favorites are the ones with classic stories and songs. At our house we are particularly fond of the Rapunzel Tonie (It's 50 minutes long and includes the stories of Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats) and the Bedtime Songs and Lullabies Tonie (it's 40 minutes of lullabies, and my daughter listens to it every night as she falls asleep).
I do think the majority of the Tonies are best for ages 3-6, but they are coming out with more "big kid" Tonies, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Despicable Me, and the A Christmas Carol Tonie (it also includes Dr. Doolittle, Oliver Twist, Anne of Green Gables, and The Journey to the Center of the Earth).
You can skip back and forth a "chapter" by hitting the Toniebox on either side. If you remove a Tonie and put the same one back on, it will pick up in the spot it left of. If you remove it, put a different Tonie on, and then the first Tonie, it will start over at the beginning. You change the volume by squeezing the little "ears" (and if your kiddo has it on too loud, you can also change the volume via the app).
Now, back to the Creative Tonie. A Creative Tonie is a Tonie that you can upload your own content to. Record yourself reading a story (via the app-- it's super easy) or send an email invite to grandma and grandpa and they can record a story that will then automatically be added to the Creative Tonie. It's so neat! My daughter loves listening to all of us read her stories.
Another great thing about the Toniebox-- it has a headphone jack and will stay charged for up to eight hours, so it's GREAT for travel.
I hope by now you guys know us well enough to know that we don't carry, much less write blog posts about, toys that we don't absolutely love. There are other similar products to the Toniebox (there's the Yoto and the Lunii, and probably others) but we chose the Toniebox because both the Toniebox and the Tonies are designed to be loved and adored by children. Each Tonie is like a little treasure at our house, and all three of my kids (3, 7, 9) have loved learning new stories and songs. I can't wait to add more Tonies to our collection (talk about the perfect stocking stuffer!).
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