There are a lot of reviews out there about the Yoto Player and most of them are great! So why add to the online clutter my own review?
So many people have asked me about the Yoto Player and how it could benefit them. Then I spend too much time with each question searching the internet for a review of all the items I want to communicate. I finally decided it was time to add my own voice to the Yoto player community and write down everything that has been pertinent to us!
The Yoto Player is a screen-free device that allows children to listen to audiobooks or audio dramas in a child-friendly way. This Yoto Player review will walk you through the benefits of the Yoto Player, the players, cards, card store, Yoto Club, storage, and more. We love our Yoto player and it has been an added supplemental material for our homeschooling and parenting.
What is the Yoto Player?
The Yoto Player, resembling a compact, friendly speaker, boasts a minimalist design that fits seamlessly into any child’s space. Its robust build ensures durability, ideal for the sometimes less-than-gentle handling of curious young minds. The device is designed with simplicity in mind, featuring intuitive controls that even toddlers can easily navigate for the first time.
At the heart of the Yoto Player lies its impressive functionality. It’s essentially an interactive audio player that uses physical cards to play a variety of content. These cards, which resemble collectible playing cards or credit cards, contain RFID chips that, when placed on the Yoto Player, initiate the corresponding audio books, music, or other audio content.
The Yoto Player doesn’t use Bluetooth technology for its primary functionality of playing audio content from Yoto Cards. Instead, it utilizes RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology embedded in the Yoto Cards. This means that it is not a jazzed-up Bluetooth speaker, which is what I first thought when I originally heard of it!
RFID allows the Yoto Player to recognize and play specific audio content associated with each card when the card is placed on the device. This technology enables a seamless and tactile interaction between the Yoto Cards and the Yoto Player without the need for Bluetooth pairing or wireless connectivity.
Parents can curate and manage content through the Yoto app, ensuring their children access a vast library of carefully curated audiobooks, music, activities, and even soothing soundscapes or white noise for relaxation or bedtime routines. It can even serve as a night light and replace a classic CD player. The content spans classic tales, educational programs, and immersive storytelling, providing an enriching experience that stimulates young minds.
One of the best parts for our family is that we can make our own cards with their blank cards, which actually is very simple once you’ve done it at least once! More on that in our card section, but because of the make-your-own card, we can add books and Bibles that have audio tracks or simply record our own.
Benefits of Using the Yoto Player
Audio-based learning through the Yoto Player introduces a multisensory approach to education. We use the Yoto player for homeschool plus just as a fun quiet time tool or on long car rides.
Children absorb information not just through reading or visual aids but also through listening and auditory comprehension. This multisensory engagement helps cater to different learning styles, making complex concepts more accessible and enjoyable for children who might struggle with traditional teaching methods.
The Yoto Player provides access to an extensive library of audiobooks, music, educational programs, and soundscapes. For parents, this means having a wealth of educational resources at their fingertips. Whether it’s classic literature, historical narratives, language lessons, or science topics, the Yoto Player offers a diverse array of content that can align with various subjects in a homeschooling curriculum.
What Age Is the Yoto Player For?
One of the most commendable aspects of the Yoto Player is its user-friendly interface. Children as young as three can independently navigate the device, selecting their preferred content by inserting the cards and adjusting the volume with easy-to-use buttons. This hands-on approach fosters independence and encourages children to take charge of their listening experiences. I honestly think that some two-year-olds could easily figure out how to navigate the device with ease.
The cards are for babies up to 10-11-year-olds, so you will get ample use out of a player and card set.
Safety and parental control are paramount in a child-centric device, and the Yoto Player excels in this aspect. Parents can rest assured knowing that the content accessible to their children is age-appropriate and handpicked for quality. The absence of a screen eliminates concerns about excessive screen time or exposure to unsuitable visuals.
Yoto Player Cost and Which One to Get
Before we go further, I want to say that we originally got the Yoto Player and now after using it we wish we would have got the Yoto Mini Player. Both are great, but I specifically like the mini for its size and portability for children.
The Yoto Player and the Yoto Player Mini are two variations of the same concept, designed to cater to different needs and preferences within the realm of children’s audio entertainment and education. Here are the key differences between the Yoto Player Mini and the full-size Yoto Player:
- The full-size Yoto Player resembles a compact speaker with dimensions suited for tabletop placement.
- It’s slightly larger and may be more prominent on a shelf or desk.
- While it’s portable, its size might make it less convenient for on-the-go use.
- The full-size Yoto Player features a slightly larger interface and buttons, making it easier for younger children or those with limited dexterity to interact with the device.
- The larger buttons might be advantageous for very young users who are still developing fine motor skills.
- Due to its larger size, the full-size Yoto Player might offer slightly enhanced sound quality and volume compared to its smaller counterpart.
- It could provide a richer audio experience, especially in larger rooms or spaces.
Yoto Player Mini:
- The Yoto Player Mini, as the name suggests, is smaller and more portable. Little hands tend to handle it better than the full-size option.
- Its compact size makes it highly portable and easy to carry around, suitable for travel or moving between rooms.
- The smaller form factor allows for more flexibility in placement and uses in various settings.
- The Yoto Player Mini, being smaller, has a more condensed interface with slightly smaller buttons.
- While still user-friendly, it might require a bit more precision in interactions for younger children.
- The Yoto Player Mini maintains good sound quality for its size but might not have the same depth or volume as the full-size Yoto Player.
- It’s suitable for smaller rooms or for individual use.
I personally think the Yoto Player Mini is more durable by far than the full-size Yoto Player. You can also get an adventure jacket for the full-size and mini which makes it more portable and gives it extra protection. Also, the Original Yoto player has a longer battery life at around 24 hours as opposed to the battery life of the mini which is 15 hours.
Both the Yoto Player and the Yoto Player Mini retain the core functionalities and features that make Yoto devices so appealing to children. The choice between the two largely depends on individual preferences regarding size, portability, and the intended use case. Families seeking a more stationary, slightly larger device might opt for the full-size Yoto Player, while those valuing portability and compactness might find the Yoto Player Mini a more suitable option for on-the-go use or smaller spaces. Regardless of the choice, both devices offer an excellent platform for children to explore, learn, and enjoy audio content in a safe and engaging manner.
The cost of the Yoto Player and Yoto Player mini will depend on the region and availability, but let’s explore what the Yoto Player costs on Amazon and on the Yoto Player website as of the time of this writing.
How Do You Use the Yoto Player?
There are two main ways to use the Yoto Player and both are relatively simple. Upon first use you will need to charge it with the provided cable and with each use you will need to turn it on.
- Insert the card into the card slot, adjust the volume, and listen to the selected content. You can adjust the volume using the side buttons. Some cards will have multiple tracks. You can use the buttons on the top of the player and sides of the Yoto player to skip forward or backward.
- The second way to play audio is from the app, which will directly play to the Yoto Player of your choosing.
- Yoto App: Download the Yoto app on your smartphone or tablet. Through the app, you can manage content, set parental controls, and monitor usage.
- Content Management: Use the app or the Yoto website to explore, purchase, and organize additional content such as audiobooks, music, or soundscapes.
- Parental Controls: Set up parental controls through the app to manage content, set time limits, and monitor your child’s usage.
- Updating Firmware: Occasionally, there might be firmware updates for the Yoto Player. Check the app or the Yoto website for instructions on how to update the device’s firmware.
All About the Cards
Yoto Cards are the ingenious backbone of the Yoto Player, representing a tactile and interactive way for children to access a world of audio content. These compact cards, reminiscent of playing cards, are embedded with RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) chips that communicate with the Yoto Player when placed on its surface, initiating specific audio content related to the card.
Yoto Cards offer a treasure trove of content, spanning different categories such as classic stories, educational programs, music, activities, and ambient soundscapes. Each card represents a unique piece of content, providing children with an array of options to explore and enjoy. The diversity in content ensures that there’s something for every age group, interest, and educational need.
What sets Yoto Cards apart is their tactile nature. Instead of relying solely on screens or buttons, children physically interact with these cards, inserting them into the Yoto Player to trigger their chosen audio. This hands-on approach fosters a more engaging and immersive learning experience. The act of selecting, handling, and inserting the cards adds a tangible dimension to the learning process, making it more interactive and enjoyable.
Yoto Cards are designed with children in mind. The cards are durable and colorful, and feature vibrant illustrations or clear labels indicating their content. This child-friendly design enables even young children who haven’t mastered reading skills to independently select their desired content based on the visual cues on the cards.
From classic fairy tales to educational podcasts and language lessons, Yoto Cards provides a wide spectrum of educational content. Parents have the flexibility to curate and customize the content available to their children, tailoring it to suit their age, interests, and educational goals. This customization allows for a personalized learning experience, catering to each child’s unique preferences and developmental stage.
Make Your Own Yoto Card
Here are the items you will need to make your own card:
- Yoto Card: A blank Yoto Card or a Yoto Card with content that you want to replace.
- Computer: Access to a computer with an internet connection.
- Yoto Account: Ensure you have a Yoto account and access to the Yoto website or app.
- Content: The audio content (audiobook, music, or other) that you wish to upload to the card.
Steps to Personalize a Yoto Card:
- Access Your Yoto Account: Log in to your Yoto account through the Yoto website or app.
- Upload Content: If you have your own content (like audio recordings), you might be able to upload it to your Yoto account. You will need an MP4 audio file of the desired content.
- Assign Content to Card: In your Yoto account, there should be an option to assign specific content to Yoto Cards. Select the card you want to personalize and link the desired content to it. You can even assign a pixel display picture to the new card.
- Sync with Yoto Player: Place the Yoto Card near your Yoto Player to sync the updated content onto the card.
Here are instructions directly from the Yoto website if something is confusing in my directions.
Why might you want to make your own card? For one, although there are a LOT of pre-made Yoto cards, there are many great Christian audio books or audio content that you may want to provide for your kids. A few of our favorite includes:
The Donkey Who Carried a King by RC Sproul
The Prince Warriors by Priscilla Shirer
Yoto Cards offer endless possibilities for learning and entertainment. Whether it’s exploring new worlds through captivating stories, learning about historical events, discovering new music, or engaging in educational activities, these cards serve as gateways to a world of knowledge and imagination.
Another great option is the Yoto Player Club which gives you two new Yoto Player cards each month! Or you can scroll through their offerings on this page. They are consistently adding new cards, so check back often. I know it can be tempting to buy cards from Amazon, but the Yoto website simply has the best deals and cards for older kids and younger kids.
Final Thoughts on the Yoto Player Review
In a world where screens dominate entertainment and learning experiences, the Yoto Player provides a refreshing alternative. Its seamless integration of educational content, engaging interface, and emphasis on child-friendly design make it a standout device in the realm of children’s gadgets. The Yoto Player not only entertains but also nurtures children’s imagination, making it a valuable addition to any household seeking a balance between technology and wholesome entertainment.
Whether as a bedtime companion, a learning tool, or simply a source of joy, the Yoto Player is a testament to how technology can enrich the lives of young ones while offering parents peace of mind.
Investing in the Yoto Player isn’t just about buying a gadget; it’s about investing in a child’s development and fostering a love for learning through immersive audio experiences. Let me know what you think about this Yoto Player review. What other questions do you have that I can add? I would love to hear!
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