As the proud owner of two tiny humans, I’m always looking for birthday or Christmas gifts which keep on giving. Things they’ll use throughout the year, things that are fun and educational. Last year I found the answer, Toniebox. Let me put it simply to begin, this is so good that I have got a second one for my other child for this Christmas.
A Toniebox is a child-friendly audio device/storyteller like no other. A squidgy sided cube that contains a speaker, two ears (which act as volume controls), sides you can hit to change the track or tilt to fast forward or rewind and a flat top on which sits a little character figure which tells your story. It is super simple for even the youngest toddler to work and portable enough to carry everywhere. We’ve taken ours on planes (with headphones of course, I’m not one of those parents), long car trips but most of the time it sits in our daughters room every night telling her a story as she goes to sleep. Toniebox is the magical musical storybox that brings songs, stories and joy to every moment of the day. It lets kids be the boss of what they want to hear, is screen free, playful, fun and a brilliant way to inspire your child’s love of storytelling. It’s easy to see why it’s won so many awards and has sold 4 million around the world.
When you first get the Toniebox you quickly connect it to your wifi and then you’re pretty much good to go. Every story lives on a Tonie. A hand printed character which represents the stories and songs on it. You can buy a bundle with a few to begin with and then add to your collection throughout the year. We’ve found them the perfect item to suggest to friends and family who want to get our kids a little gift. There’s so many options, Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Cocomelon, Classic Fairy Tales, Roald Dahl, Disney Favourites like Moana, Frozen, Beauty & The Beast, Julia Donaldson hero’s like The Gruffalo or Room On The Broom and even Paddington. Each cute character can be placed on top of the Toniebox where the magnets help it stick and it comes to life telling the story or singing the song. The Disney ones for example have a few songs from the film and then the story of it complete with sound effects, music and voice actors. If your child just wants the story all they need to do is bash the side of the box and it will move to the next track on the Tonies. Every night before going to bed our 4-year-old picks a Tonie and places it onto the top of the Toniebox and listens to the story as she falls asleep. It’s her routine and she loves the freedom and choice before bedtime.
One of the greatest parts however is the Creative-Tonies. These characters can be loaded direct from the Tonies website with free stories and songs which they provide or you can add your own stories. As a parent who is often away they are truly magical. My kid tells me which story she would like. I use voice notes on my phone to record it for her and then upload it to the website and just like magic it appears on her Creative Tonies that night so she can hear me read her a bedtime story even when I’m thousands of miles away. It makes me feel close and connected to her knowing she’s going to sleep listening to me whisk her into a magical world of fairytales. A Toniebox is one of those things that just keeps getting used and enjoyed by our kids. It grows with them and is now a tried and tested part of our bedtime routine. We don’t travel without it and are constantly recommending it to friends. As perfect a Christmas gift as you can get for the growing imaginations of tiny humans. For parents, grandparents and caregivers looking for Christmas shopping inspiration, the tonies® collection is the ideal present to light up little faces and is the gift that keeps on giving. With a raft of screen-free content, the Toniebox (£79.99) and accompanying Tonies (from £11.99) provide hours of entertainment for different ages, making it a cost-effective purchase which will be loved for many years. With a range of matching accessories including headphones, carrycases and a car organiser, the tonies® collection is perfect for travel too, allowing kids to enjoy the magic of tonies® at home or away.