Tonies has gifted 500 Tonies figures and heavily discounted Toniebox storytelling audio devices to the UK’s children’s charity, Starlight in its campaign to bring play to children undergoing serious medical treatment across the country.
The Tonieboxes support the charity’s Storybox programme that provides storytelling toys, books and crafts to children in hospitals and homes across the UK. At a time when Starlight’s storytelling team aren’t permitted to visit in person due to the pandemic, the Storybox initiative allows children to stay entertained through stories.
The Tonieboxes will allow children undergoing treatment to continue to hear stories and listen to songs, providing them with some much-needed escapism during these challenging times.
To help children to feel connected to family and friends, the Tonieboxes and donated CreativeTonies also allow loved ones to record personal messages, which can be uploaded via The mytonies App.
Pinky Laing, UK partnerships at Tonies, said: “We are delighted to help bring a little respite to children who are receiving treatment during the pandemic and are proud to be part of Starlight’s Storybox programme.
“Tonies is committed to helping children through the power and magic of storytelling. Our audio storytelling devices help to engage young minds, and we feel fortunate that we can help support and inspire children who are going through a tough time with our Tonies interactive audio system.”
Dr Krutika Pau, director of children’s services at Starlight, added: “The pandemic has meant that children in hospital have faced heightened anxiety and worry and through our initial work, we’ve found that Toniebox was a fun and engaging activity for families to do together, which helped them escape from the worries of treatment, relax and bond.
“From our pilot we saw that Toniebox benefits children both in hospital and at home, and when using them we saw a decrease in negative emotions such as feeling sad and anxious, and an increase in positive emotions such as feeling happy and confident.
“Toniebox served as a welcome distraction during treatment and as the stories are accessible and familiar, helped the children to feel relaxed. We are so grateful for Tonies’ support and hope many more children will benefit from this brilliant product throughout the year ahead.”
Alison is the mother of Lachlan, a patient who received a Toniebox from Starlight when undergoing medical treatment. She notes that her son, who has learning disabilities, learns choice making skills through the cause and effect nature of the box.
“Visually he can see what he likes, for example he sees the Gruffalo, he can put it on and then he hears the Gruffalo. He is making choices and then he is understanding ‘cause and effect’: if I pick that and put that there, I will listen to something I want to. So it really is a smart toy,” she said.
“The Toniebox is great for children to still learn if they are in hospital and missing out on school, as it has an educational element that is really exciting and interesting. Lachlan knows the Tonies that he likes. As well as the Gruffalo, he loves counting and numbers so he would choose the nursery rhymes Tonies that include this. We put it in his room at night time with his sensory lights on. It is a good indication for him to know that it’s relaxation time now.”