Toniebox: The Solution To Your Kids’ Screen Time
I was looking for a solution to help my 4-year-old, Oliver, settle down into a better bedtime routine. He was spending a lot of time watching cartoons in the evenings which made him sleepless at night. I came across the Toniebox, a musical story box for kids, and got him one as a birthday gift.
To our surprise, Oliver’s routine improved immediately. He started watching cartoons less, and going to sleep earlier with his Toniebox. Read my full review below…
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As a parent to a 4 year old, bedtime is the most challenging time. I’m ashamed to admit that we’ve gotten into the bad habit of sticking the telly on to keep Oliver quiet in the evenings while we cook dinner and get chores done.
This works like a charm, until it's time to go upstairs to bed. All the screen time keeps him hyper for hours — He’ll throw a tantrum most evenings which takes a toll on us as parents.
After I read that too much screentime can lead to emotional, social, and attention problems, I wanted to find another way to keep him entertained. That's when I came across the Toniebox, a musical story box for kids aged 3-8 years.
One of Oliver’s friends brought it over one day, along with his Paddington Bear “Tonie” — a figurine that sits on top of the box and plays a story or sings songs.
I was amazed at how both Oliver and his friend were mesmerised by this little box that had no screens. They sat happily and listened to Paddington Bear’s story together and barely made a peep except to adjust the volume with the ears on the Toniebox — Oliver didn’t beg for me to turn on any cartoons which had become the after school norm.
Research found that the Toniebox is played with 148 times more than any regular toy.
It comes with hand-painted collectibles of your kid’s favourite characters and when you put the characters on the top of the box, their story plays.
I can see how the Toniebox has more longevity than your typical dinosaur or toy car given the endless characters and stories you can get with it. Oliver gets sick of toys quite quickly but loves anything that has a story.
Another great thing about the Toniebox is it makes learning fun. According to The National Literacy Trust, listening to audiobooks is both entertaining and educational by improving vocabulary and literacy skills. A lot of the testimonials I read said that the Toniebox helped their kids get into a better bedtime routine as well –- which was music to my ears.
Oliver’s birthday was coming up, and I already knew what I was getting him — his very own Toniebox. I browsed their offerings and saw that they had so many Tonies, including Creative Tonies that have up to 90 minutes of recording space for your own stories!
They have lots to offer, you can bundle up and save 20%. I went with the starter bundle: the Toniebox + 1 Tonie for £89.99. We chose the Paw Patrol Tonie — Oliver adores Paw Patrol. The box costs £79.95, but you can keep adding more Tonies to your child’s collection for just £14.99 each.
My order arrived and when I opened it, I noticed that the Toniebox is soft and squishy. In other words, it won’t break if it’s dropped or falls down the stairs – it's kid-proof!
Oliver’s face lit up when he saw his Toniebox and Paw Patrol Tonie — he got to playing with it almost immediately. The Toniebox has 7 hours of battery life, so it keeps him entertained for hours. There's even a headphone jack for when we want some peace and quiet.
He just pops, taps, tilts and squeezes the ears on the Toniebox to navigate through the stories and songs. Plus, the Tonie attaches magnetically, so even if he turns the box upside down, the story doesn’t stop playing. Now he’ll happily go to bed on time with his Toniebox, having bedtime stories read to him.
For Christmas, we’re getting him a few more Tonies, like the Lion King and Gruffalo. For older children, they have the Nat Geo collection which focuses on learning about animals and nature. You can even listen to stories in different languages which is an exciting way to get Oliver into learning a second language.
You can build your own bundle and get up to 20% off – get a Toniebox and 3 Tonies for £109.99 or a Toniebox and 5 Tonies for just £119.99 (best value)!
The Toniebox was a game changer for us when it came to our bedtime routine and reducing the dreaded screen time. I’m astonished that Oliver is still thoroughly enjoying it more and more every day. He falls asleep noticeably earlier since getting his Toniebox.
If you’re a parent that struggles with these things too, we’d highly recommend the Toniebox. There’s a Tonie for every kid out there.