There’s a moment every day when I let my daughter have a bit of “quiet time”. This usually means she gets to watch TV or the iPad while I do other stuff. If I’m honest, this intrusion of the screen happens a little more than I would like it to. But last weekend, I discovered the new audio cube from tonies®. It was exciting because it’s technology in a cute, kid-friendly package. And, unlike tablets, it’s purely audio.
Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. It was easy to set up – even with a 3-year-old trying to “help”! I’m a techno-phobe and when it comes to reading instructions I just switch off. So I downloaded the Tonie app and let it guide me. Top tip – do set up the cube next to your wi-fi router (which it tells you to do.) It took 5 minutes, then we were good to go.
The Toniebox comes with a figurine that you can programme with your own audio. This fun feature alleviates the mummy (or daddy) guilt of asking technology to take your place for 5 minutes. You can record your kids’ favourite book and let your child read along with the device while you wash up or fix a cup of tea. It’s also useful if you’re not going to be there at bedtime – perfect for the odd occasion when I make it out for drinks with friends. Now, daddy can play mummy reading the story while I skip out the door!
You can also record silly messages, of course, which was one of our favourite ways to use the device. We put the cube into ‘live’ mode and surprised daddy with “windiepops and bottom burps” sound effects when he walked in the room. It’s non-stop hilarity in our house, as you can tell.
You can buy extra Tonies characters, which are pre-programmed with audio books, fairytales and nursery rhymes. Kids can turn on the device themselves by squeezing the ear on the device, and then choose what to play by standing the character on top. This means they can choose how and when to use the Toniebox all by themselves. Much better than being yelled at to come and put Paw Patrol on Netflix again!
We were also impressed by the design of the Toniebox. It’s really soft and a lovely colour (you can choose your shade). And it’s quick to charge, portable and robust so I didn’t need to worry when my daughter put it under her arm and left the room.
tonies® are releasing new characters all the time, so you can keep adding pre-recorded content to your child’s Toniebox. We loved the traditional fairytales and will be adding The Gruffalo to our collection soon. Plus, the characters are lovely. They ended up tucked up in bed in our dolls’ house when not in use. Which makes this a much more tactile experience than the iPad can ever be.
tonies®: what you need to know
Tonies and Tonieboxes are available from Amazon, selected toy retailers, bookshops and via the tonies® website.
Tonieboxes RRP £79.95, Tonies RRP £14.99, Creative-Tonies RRP £11.99
Key product details:
- Suitable for children 3+
- Sewn from sustainable, quality fabric
- Portable (seven-hour battery life)
- Can be used with headphones
- Available in multiple colours
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This post has been commissioned by tonies® but, as always, all views are our own.