Have you been looking for an audio player for your toddler? Something that is screen free, with a volume limiter and something that is really robust? We've been using the hörbert and I've been receiving a lot of requests for more affordable options. These audio players (pictured above) meet my requirements but many use new technology and are not necessarily budget friendly. However, they allow a very young toddler to safely and independently navigate audio files like meditation, songs, music and audio books.
- hörbert - we love the hörbert, it goes with us everywhere. I love the timber frame and the colour buttons which are super easy to use. Each button plays a series of different songs or stories. The hörbert comes preloaded, we chose the multilingual version so you can play it straight away. But you can add what you like onto the memory card. There is a simple on and off switch on the top and a volume knob, which is volume limited. The hörbert is made in Germany and I suggest could be used from 10-12 months+.
- Jooki - the song or story starts to play when the character is placed on the Jooki. You can also add your own audio files on a memory card and use the Jooki app to make your own playlists.
- Tonies - this is a very simple and easy to use design. Although the Tonies are not recommended for children under three due to small parts. The child just needs to place the Tonie onto the Toniebox for the audio file to play. You can order different Tonies including music or audio books and there is also a Creative-Tonie in which you can upload your own audio file up to 90 minutes. Also available on Amazon UK here.
- Ocarina - I've received a ton of recommendations for the Ocarina. This robust mp3 is made in Italy. It has four buttons to do everything and is babyproof!
- TIMIO - this is fully funded but still available for preorder on Kickstarter. The child places a disc on the TIMIO and presses an image for the audio file to play. It comes with 20 discs including songs, stories and vocabulary discs.
- CD player - this is a really affordable option and believe me it works. I introduced a CD player to Otis around 18 months (perhaps a bit younger) and he was able to play it, change the volume and flip through songs. The CDs ended up with lots of finger prints on them but it was worth it. I preferred to use a CD player that used batteries so I didn't have to worry about a power cord.
Please let me know if you have any additional recommendations, I'd love to hear!
Edited to add: A reader suggested the Lunii which is a cute looking screen free audio box, recommended for children 3 to 8 years. It comes with a starter pack of 48 stories!! I really want to try this one too! This may also be a good option for long flights!