The innovative, fun and child-friendly digital audio player is the creation of German friends Patric and Marcus. Their idea came to life when they wanted to give their children an easy way to listen to audiobooks and music without adding to their screen time and without having to handle CDs or tapes.
The Toniebox is a portable and easy to use digital audio player for children. Audiobooks and songs are played by placing the appropriate figure (The Tonie) on top of the box.
If you are wondering how it all works and why it is so much better and easier for kids than Tablets, YouTube or Alexa – read on for more information of the Toniebox.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Toniebox is a lightweight cube which is padded and covered in durable material. It is shockproof and well made. Ours has been taken everywhere and dropped as young children do. There are six different bright colours to choose from - Red, Light Blue, Purple, Grey, Pink and Lime Green.
NO BUTTONS – NO SCREENS
When you are looking at the Toniebox, the first thing you might notice is the lack of screens and buttons. The only button-like controls are the two grey “ears” on top of the box, which are the volume controls. The bigger ear turns the volume up, while you press the smaller one to turn it down. What is quite surprising though is the excellent sound quality – especially for such a small unit!
In order to start playing an audiobook or a song, you simply place one of the Tonies on top of the box. Tap the side of the box to rewind or fast-forward through stories and skip songs. The Tonies are chunky and sturdy enough to be handled by kids from the age of three. As soon as they are able to recognise the different characters from stories, they are able to use the Toniebox! Since the Tonies are slightly magnetised, they stay in place, even when the box is carried around! Super easy, intuitive & fun!
THE MAGIC OF THE TONIEBOX EXPLAINED!
My son loves the magic of the Tonie Box. Simply place your Tonie on the top and the stories start to play.
However, the Tonie audio system is a cloud-based system! During the initial setup, you are creating an account for your Tonie Cloud, which is connected to your Toniebox via WiFi. Thanks to an NFC chip at the bottom of every Tonie, the box instantly knows which figure is placed on top.
When you use a Tonie for the first time, the audio starts playing immediately. However, the LED on top of the box will flash blue until the download of the entire audio file is complete. Once the files are stored safely on the internal memory the LED switches back to green. The Toniebox only needs to connect to WiFi when downloading files for a new Tonie or when you have updated the content on a Creative Tonie (see below). Other than that your Toniebox is completely portable! Your children can bring their favourite stories and songs wherever they go. After all: The best adventures are waiting beyond your WiFi signal!
DOES THE TONIEBOX IT NEED BATTERIES?
The Toniebox Starter Set is supplied with a charging station. Your Toniebox sits securely on the station and can charge away whilst being used safely by your children. Once the battery is completely charged the box plays up to seven hours worth of audio – perfect for road trips! The headphone socket is located on the top of the Tonie, so they can listen to what they want without disturbing other people.
TONIES: PLAY, LISTEN, LEARN!
As mentioned above, the little figures you use to listen to audiobooks or music files are called Tonies. There are three different types of Tonies: Audiobook Tonies, Music Tonies, and Creative Tonies!
Each of the hand painted figures seems to have their own unique character! They are sturdy and even waterproof. They also make fab stocking fillers and small “add on” presents. With the ever-growing selection of Tonies available, you will not run out of gift ideas for the foreseeable!
When looking through the Audiobook Tonies you will find many familiar faces. From the Highway Rat and Stickman for children as young as three years old to The Little Prince and The Three ??? for older kids, you can be sure to find their favourite story! There are also fairy-tale compilations. You get a number of different classical stories, like Little Red Riding Hood or Peter Pan on one Tonie!
Not all Audiobook Tonies have fictional stories to tell. The Tonies in the How and Why range teach your kids all about different subjects. It’s a great and fun way for children to learn about different subjects!
Creative Tonies are THE BEST! They are the blank canvas of audiobooks and ready to become whatever you and your kids want them to be! When you first receive your Creative Tonie (one of which is included in the Starter Set), you register it to your Tonie cloud. Once that is done you can add your own audio content.
To do that, log in to your Tonie cloud on your PC or mobile and add audio files or record messages. If you have family or friends abroad, you can give them access to your cloud. They can then record a message for your kids as a surprise. Bedtime stories from the far-away grandparents or working away Mums and Dads have never been that easy! This is by far my favourite feature of the Tonie Box.
Whenever new content has been added to your Creative Tonies, remember that the content has to sync first. Which means your Toniebox needs to be connected to WiFi. Once done though – it is priceless to see your kid’s eyes light up when they discover that there is a new story from someone special on their Tonie!
We will have a blog coming live soon taking you through the set up and use of your creative Tonie.
Our Tonie Review:
We live in a time where iPads, plastic toys and chaos often overtakes in our day to day lives. The shelves in the shops are overflowing with all these things we are made to believe our kids need; only to learn that today’s latest thing will be old school tomorrow! . The Tonie box is a simple yet fantastic creation that ticks all the boxes for me.
It allows my son to enjoy the magical world of books using technology, without all the screens and flashing lights. It allows Dad who loves to do the bedtime stories, continue to do these even when he has to work late. It’s child-friendly (from about 3 years old), durable and virtually indestructible. It’s also portable, nice to look at and thanks to the always-expanding range of Tonies, can grow with your children and their interests.
It’s a great way to keep families connected with the creative Tonies and my own 5 year old son now reaches for his Tonie box over an iPad.
It definitely gets a 5 star review from us.