I’m a tech lover. I have a mostly smart house. I work with tech almost all day long every day. However, that does not mean I want my son, while only 3, to be on screens all day long as well. While tech is the way of the future and will absolutely be a part of his future, I think there is great benefit to him having som time not all through screens as well. But, that does not mean he needs to simply play with rocks. I wanted to find a way to be able to help encourage his creativity and how his mind works without relying on games or apps found on the App Store.
That is where Tonies came in. Tonies has created a perfect way to fill that gap of utilizing technologies but in a kinesthetic way.
The main product, first and foremost is simply a cube. The “Toniebox” is easily set up through the Tonies app. This box has no screens, no microphones, no sharp corners, and is covered in a soft, yet durable, material.
The controls are simple enough that my 3 year old was able to pick up on them very quickly.
To turn up or down, there are two little almost ear-like areas to press. The larger one turns up, the smaller one turns down. Simple. Next up, the ability to skip or go back. This is done via a swift smack to the side of the Toniebox. Seriously. Double slap the side of this thing and you skip to the next song. Lastly for the controls, the ability to choose material. This box is the perfect solution for kids to be able to choose their own content correctly, confidently and in a fun way.
Each character that either comes with the original package or that you buy separate has content. To play that content, your child will simply put the “Tonie” (character) on the top of the Toniebox. When in the right area, the Tonie will magnetically attach to the Toniebox, aligning properly and then instantly beginning to play your content!
This company is brilliant when it comes to these characters. I don’t know ho w any times I have told my wife that exact sentence. “Tonies” are the characters that are used to hold media. Thing of them as their own flash drives, their own CDs, their own cassettes, their own 8-tracks. Regardless of your way of thinking of it, these things are impressive. Each Tonie can hold around 90 minutes of audio content. Any audio, all controlled by the parent app. So, for most of my son’s characters, they are preset with songs from Moana, Christmas songs, fun bedtime songs and more. These are purchasable, and I predict they will continue to grow in popularity!
Here is where it gets amazing — Creative Tonies. These little guys are customizable with whatever you want. Literally. Any audio. For one, I downloaded some of my son’s favorite kids songs and put it on his little green character. Now when he wants to listen to some of his favorites, he puts that green Tonie on his Toniebox. Simple, easy, awesome. For the other, his blue character, I am working on recording content from my wife and I. I am a musician and love to play guitar or piano and sing. So, I plan on personally playing and recording my son’s favorite songs that I normally sing to him. Additionally, my wife is phenomenal at reading bedtime stories to our kids. So we are going to record her reading some of his favorite books. That way, when he wants that special touch, he can choose his blue Tonie and listen to Mom and Dad.
The last big element I will touch on is charging capabilities. The Toniebox has an incredibly easy way to be able to charge. There is a round disk with a charging port sticking up that even my son at 3 can easily walk over to, line up, and set the Toniebox down on.
Seriously, from the moment wen unboxed the Tonie system at my house, we have been obsessed. The overall quality, the ease of use, parental control, and expand ability has been amazing. One thing I selfishly wish is that I could do is not have to sync the device when I want to add content, however I can deal with that for the reward of the extra content.