Toys: The Story Box Trend
For several years now, story boxes have featured prominently at the foot of the Christmas tree. Popular with parents and children alike, these storytellers are available for all ages, all tastes and all budgets. We invite you to discover these new trendy toys in 5 questions.
1- What exactly is it about?
The story boxes or storytellers are digital boxes.
Usually without a screen, they contain pre-recorded or make-up stories for children to listen to independently.
In addition, with these storytellers, children can listen to the stories without having still or moving images imposed on them, encouraging them to use their imagination.
2- What are the benefits of this toy for children?
The story box has many benefits for children ages 3 to 10.
This type of storyteller is designed to be handled by the child alone, without the need for reading skills or a parent to use it.
This toy develops fine motor skills and independence, as the child must learn to turn it on and off, adjust the sound, change the story or even plug in his headphones when the model is equipped with them.
Story boxes are also popular with parents because they contribute to the cognitive development of children.
Listening to stories indeed helps develop the imagination, improve concentration and memorization abilities of the child, without forgetting of course that this activity develops vocabulary and language skills.
Finally, this object can help anxious children to relax and calm their anxieties because it allows them to put themselves in their own bubble, in peace and quiet, and to escape.
Some models are also equipped with a jack plug so that you can listen to the stories with headphones without disturbing the people around you.
3- What are the other advantages of this object?
Story boxes have multiple benefits. Not only do they have an educational side (some offer stories in multiple languages such as French and English), but they are unisexual and appeal to both girls and boys.
Another advantage of this toy is that'it can be used in multiple circumstances, for example at night just before falling asleep, but also in the morning to wait for the time to get up if your child is used to waking up very early.
It is possible to play it alone or with others, at home or in the car especially to pass the time during long trips.
Using a storyteller is especially great if your children suffer from motion sickness and can't read or watch cartoons during car trips.
Finally, it's a great way to keep kids occupied without putting them in front of the TV or other screen. This is valid both at home and outside, for example in a waiting room, on the train or on the plane.
A story box with a headset that can be used in public places without disturbing other users is preferable.
4- What are the different models?
The pioneering brand in this field is Lunii, which launched the first model in 2016. Since then, this market has developed well and it has become very competitive.
Its Ma fabrique à histoires storyteller (sold for around €50) is made in France and offers an interactive experience as the child chooses a main character, a place, a companion, an object and the box creates a custom story.
Storikid - My storyteller from the brand Vtech is a very complete model (sold for about 40€). It offers light projections (starry skies, sun, bubbles) and sound adapted to the stories. It is possible to download free story packs and add up to 10 minutes of recording with your own voice.
The Wonderful Storyteller (sold for around £80) is one of the most fun story boxes to use as you just have to shake it to hear stories! There are no buttons, just little manipulations (tapping, turning or putting the cube down) to make it work... like magic!
Ma Première Conteuse (sold in particular by Nature & Découvertes at about 80€) is the most suitable for babies from birth.
The Italian brand Faba launched in France in October 2020 an audio storyteller that works with figurines.
The stories, rhymes and songs are launched thanks to figurines that are placed on top of the speaker. This story box is sold at around £45 with a first figurine: a small elephant that broadcasts 15 contents adapted to each age. You can then buy other characters to access new stories and music.
5- How much does it cost?
So the story boxes cost between 30 and 90 € on average.
This year they are in the top ten best selling toys for Christmas.
The initial investment isn't too expensive, but adding more stories can end up costing you a lot of money in the end on some storytelling models if you buy a lot...
Also, be aware that some English version story packs are not included in the storyteller at the time of purchase. In that case, you have to buy the pack separately in the desired language.