We’ll be the first to admit screen-time has reached an all-time high in our house, especially since the pandemic started.
But what do you do when you need five minutes’ peace and don’t want to keep relying on tablets or YouTube? We think we've just found the answer.
Read our review of the Yoto Player – a cute speaker that gives your child access to hundreds of stories, music and activities.
Audio is a fantastic medium for little ones. It develops their listening skills, helps them to learn new words and improves their concentration.
With a child-friendly design, functions that aid your child’s bedtime routine and a set-up that means you can use it anywhere, Yoto Player is a pretty amazing audio companion. Read on to find out more about why we love it.
It’s really easy to use
So easy, in fact, once you’re all set up (just pop the Welcome card in and connect to the internet), kids should be able to use it without grown-up help. To play something, they slot a credit-card sized card into the box and the audio starts automatically. To pause, they simply remove the card again. They can also skip chapters and adjust the volume using the twisty knobs on the side of the box.
The Yoto app, which is designed for parents, is really slick, too. You can play stories direct from the app - useful if you have a toddler whose favourite game is removing the card. And you can control everything including day and nighttime volume, the colour of the nightlight and the pixel display. You can even record your voice to make your very own Yoto card (more on that below!).
You can take it anywhere
Travelling with kids just got a little bit easier thanks to this nifty little cube. Kids have access to hundreds of stories, songs, and podcasts via Yoto’s content library, which you can purchase and download onto their device whenever it’s connected to the internet.
All the content is playable via the app once you’ve downloaded it, so there’s no need to stress if you accidentally lose one of the cards. It also has around eight hours of playtime, once fully charged. And up to 140 hours of storage (perfect for long journeys!). You can also add headphones, and adventure jackets – pictured above – are available to purchase separately for £24.99.
It helps little ones to sleep
Bedtime battles are something most parents are familiar with – whether your child wakes too early, keeps getting up in the night or won’t settle without you there.
Yoto Player comes with inbuilt functions that help kids feel ready for sleep. There's a night light (with seven different colours) and a sleep timer, which lets your child listen to their favourite stories as they nod off. Sleep Stories and Yoto Sleep Radio guide little ones into a peaceful slumber with calming, rhythmic sounds.
The Yoto Clock is perfectly designed to help with that process we all dread – sleep training. Simply set your preferred time in the app and your Yoto Player will switch its display to a moon to show your child it’s nighttime. When it’s time to wake up, they’ll see the display change to a sun, so they’ll know it’s alright to get out of bed (goodbye to the pitter-patter of tiny feet at 5am?!).
It's perfect for little kids and big kids
Children are totally spoilt for choice when they delve into Yoto’s library. They’ll discover classics like Enid Blyton's The Famous Five and Roald Dahl's Matilda, modern favourites like The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, and plenty more - with options to buy single cards or whole packs too.
There are also loads of learning activities, sound effects, music cards and Yoto Radio, which plays kid-friendly pop songs all day.
Yoto Player isn't something your kids will grow out of in a hurry either. The library contains cards suitable for children from birth up to 12 years old, and older kids will get loads of enjoyment out of content from the likes of The Week Junior and FunKids' StoryQuest.
You can make your own Yoto cards
The blank Make Your Own cards allow you to record your own audio using the app – perfect if you're not going to be around at bedtime, or you just want 5 minutes to yourself. You can fill these cards with whatever you like – read a story, leave a goodnight message, sing a song or add music from your own collection. You can reuse them as many times as you like.
Other loved ones can join in with the fun, too, so if your child wants a bedtime story from granny, grandpa, or someone else, just get them to record the audio onto an mp3 file, then you can upload it using the Yoto app.
Yoto Player: What you need to know
Yoto Player is available to buy from Amazon, selected retailers and via the Yoto website – RRP £79.99. Prices start from £1.99 for single cards, and from £14.99 for a pack. Click here to buy yours via the Yoto website.
Key product details
- Yoto Player suitable for children aged 3+
- Content library contains cards suitable for children from birth to 12 years
- Portable (eight-hour battery life)
- Can be used with headphones
- Rechargeable via a magnetic charging dock