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(Tonies $99 & up)

We finally got to listen to a variety of stories for the Tonies, not just for the preschoolers, but many for school aged listeners. We are impressed with the scope of the Tonies book collection. This isn’t a toy for the very young to use independently, it’s a listening device that plays music as well as stories with a broad range library of books. Beginning readers will enjoy following along with print copies of familiar picture books. Doing so can build reading skills as they scan the words being read. Even without the printed page, stories that capture their interest build their concentration skills and the ability to make pictures in the mind’s eye as the story unfolds. In years past such listening skills were developed as teachers and parents read aloud to children. Later, there were recordings that children listened to. In this very visual age of big and little screens, this ability to listen without images is sometimes lost or underdeveloped, yet it is that very skill that readers must bring to the printed page...making images from the words they read that make books the passports to fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, even how-to manuals. It’s what reading comprehension is built on. So, reading to children or recordings like Tonies offer a good way to build those skills and provide entertainment that they can plug into with some independence. Of course, we have to add that there is no substitute better than reading aloud to your child, but sometimes that is not possible, so recorded stories are an alternative. Each storybook comes with a character that kids plug into the platform. You can build their collection and shift from picture books to chapter books as they grow. Add a headset for quiet solo listening on car trips or rainy days. The basic box comes in many colors, we suggest a gender-free specific color so it will be shared with siblings or cousins down the road. Each story and character is $14.99, so the library adds up. If you go to the Tonies site you will find bundles to add to the basic unit and a library of choices.

Ages: Preschool, Early School

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2022


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