Do you wish your child would get away from screens more? There’s a new toy available in the U.S. that has been really popular in Europe – tonies. I know my own kids can benefit from getting away from their iPads and the TV, so when I was offered the chance to check out this screenless audio entertainment system, I was really excited to do so.
I received the toniebox Starter Kit & Content Tonies in exchange for review. All opinions contained within are my own. This post contains affiliate links. We may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
What Is a “tonie”?
tonies are a two-part toy consisting of the Toniebox, a soft shockproof small cube made of durable fabric and small tonies figures – handpainted characters loaded with stories and songs.
There are two types of tonies – Content Tonies, which are pre-loaded with stories and songs, and Creative-Tonies, which allow kids and parents to create their own stories that the tonies then share.
How do tonies Work?
You will need Wi-Fi access for the initial set up of your Toniebox, but after that, you will be able to use the Toniebox for up to seven hours unplugged and on the go. When you set the tonie Figure atop the Toniebox, the Toniebox downloads the music and stories from the figure while also playing it.
The Creative-Tonies work by recording on your device then uploading the recording to the site. Then, the next time your child places the Creative-Tonie on the Toniebox, it downloads the recording and plays it – just as your child had recorded it. It’s also a really great way for extended family to be in touch with your child. Ask a grandparent to record a reading of a story or singing of a song and send it to you, then upload it to the desired tonie.
What We Thought
My kids got a kick out of them. They especially liked the Creative-Tonie and the idea of creating their own sounds and stories to put onto the tonie. The Pirate tonie’s voice that was recorded scared both my 6-year-old and 4-year-old for some reason. Because it was new, they each wanted to test all of the tonies first before settling into play.
How to Add tonies to Your Homeschool
tonies not only are going to make a great gift for kids this holiday season, but they will be useful in your homeschool. Repetition is great for kids, so the Content Tonies are good for that, but here are some ideas on how to play with tonies in your homeschool:
- Challenge your child to create a story for the Creative-Tonie about something they learned in science or history
- Keep younger siblings busy with a story or song while older siblings complete work
- Have your child(ren) record a play with voice acting
- Have your child read a poem he or she is memorizing to use on the Creative-Tonie
- Have a grandparent or other extended family member record family history or accounts of historic events
- Ask your child to draw what he or she is hearing while the Content Tonie tells a story
- Record yourself or another adult reading books for your child to read along with – or listen to – when you’re not actively available to read
These are just a few possibilities. What I like about tonies is that the Content tonies offer children that important repetition that helps with langauge development and skills while the Creative-Tonies offer really endless options for play and education.
Where to Purchase tonies
tonies are available starting today on Amazon.com, tonies.com, Target.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and FAO.com. The Tonies Starter Kit is $99.99 and includes a Toniebox and Creative-Tonie. Additional tonies are $11.99-$14.99. You can also find them in stores at FAO Schwartz and independent toy retailers.