Have you heard of the Yoto Player yet? We highly recommend it!
What is the Yoto Player?
It's the cutest little audio device, so kids can listen to audiobooks, music, and pocasts independently. The Yoto is a bit like a portable speaker, except it only plays audio connected to their proprietary Yoto Cards. Kids can slide any card in to listen to the accompany story, giving kids tons of control over what they want to listen to.
The setup is the same on both sizes: two orange button knobs and a simple icon screen.
One knob controls the volume, and the other allows you to skip forward and backward to other tracks. The simple 16x16-pixel screen shows icons for each track, allowing even non-readers to use the Yoto with ease. No touchscreens here! The yoto is just a well-built audio player for kids, with no internet access or games.
When you slide a card into the slot of a Yoto Player, the audio starts playing automatically. When you pull the card out of the slot, the audio pauses, ready to pick up in the same place the next time you use that card.
- What is the Yoto Player?
- Cost And Where to Get it
- Other Yoto Features
- Safer than a Tablet
- Should I get an original Yoto Player or a Yoto Mini?
- Are there any negatives?
- All About Yoto Cards
- "Make Your Own" Cards
- The Yoto Card Club
- FAQs About the Yoto Player
- Overall, we think Yoto players are an awesome toy and tool for kids.
Cost And Where to Get it
The original Yoto Player currently retails at $99.99 and the Yoto Mini retails at $69.99.
The Yoto PLayer started off in the UK, so it's just barely making it to the US.
So far I've only seen it online; no one seems to be carrying it in stores yet.
The three best places to get the Yoto Player are:
- The Yoto Store
I'm a huge fan of Amazon and Target, but there are some perks of buying it straight from Yoto.
There's a buyer-reward program, so you get points (coins) that you can redeem towards future purchases.
You can save 10% by joining the Yoto Card Club (more on that below)
If you want your stuff fast, then definitely check out Amazon's selection. Prime Two-Day shipping is the best!
If you're on Target's Circle app, there are occasionally coupons for money off a toy purchase. If you're lucky enough to get them, these DO work on the Yoto player, BUT sometimes lots of people get the same idea, and the Yoto Player goes out of stock. Just FYI.
Other Yoto Features
Besides the audiobooks that my kids listen to each day, we also use the Yoto Player as an “okay to wake” clock.
During the day, the kids use our Yoto player all around the house, but at bedtime, we always put it on the Yoto magnetic charging dock in the kids’ room. The Yoto app allows us to set the device to “Night Mode” each day from bedtime until 6:45 am. During this time, the Yoto has a quieter volume and displays a moon on the pixel screen.
At 6:45 am, the display switches to a sun on the screen, signaling to the kids that it’s okay for them to get ready for the day (if they’re already awake).
Yoto Players also have the ability to play white noise through the night
The original Yoto player has a nightlight feature (with multiple color options!) when you turn the device facedown.
Parents can also elect to turn on the Yoto Radio feature (varied music, with no ads!), and the Yoto Daily feature (a sweet, daily kid’s podcast). Parents can customize all of these settings in the Yoto app.
Safer than a Tablet
In our family, we do "quiet time" every afternoon while the toddler naps. In the past, I would let the kids use a tablet or an old phone for audiobooks during this time.
However, as my worry began to grow about addictive social media, child predators, and pornography, I just don’t feel comfortable with my kids using an internet-connected device... especially alone, behind a closed door anymore.
The Yoto Player has been such a perfect fit for our family’s needs: the kids can independently control which audiobooks and music they listen to, but I can keep them safe.
With only the 16x16-pixel display for icons, it’s essentially a screen-free device. There is no internet browser, social media, camera, microphone, or advertisements. Hooray!
Should I get an original Yoto Player or a Yoto Mini?
Yoto cards can be used interchangeably between the original and Mini devices. Both players have the same button functionality, connectivity to the app, headphone jacks, and volume.
The original Yoto device is larger and designed to be kept mainly at home. The main pro to this version is the nightlight and ok-to-wake functionality. If you need them, then the original Yoto is great!
The Yoto Mini does not have a nightlight or magnetic dock.
The main perks of the Yoto Mini are the cheaper price and portability. The small size is great for outdoor use and road trips, but it also makes the device easier for children to lose (compared to the larger player).
I personally think the Yoto mini is the perfect option - ready to travel, easy for kids to hold, super cute, and cheaper on your wallet.
Cable wise - The Mini uses a USB-C cable that may be more challenging for young kids to plug in. However, if you lose Yoto's cable you probably have a replacement already available.
The Larger Yoto player has the unique magnetic dock, which is easier for toddlers to use. However, this is a propietary plug, so if you're prone to losing cables, it might not be a good choice for you.
Are there any negatives?
In an effort to keep the Yoto Player as simple as possible for kids, the players do not currently allow you the fast forward or rewind (only advance forward a track or jump back to the beginning of a track). This is something we’d love to see Yoto add in the future!
Also, we're still waiting for an official software update to allow the Yoto to work with Bluetooth headphones. This has been " coming soon" for ages, so we hope it really is! That measn you could use any Yoto with any branded bluetooth headphones, for a cordless listening scenario.
All About Yoto Cards
There are TONS of Yoto Cards available from the Yoto Store!
YOu can sort the store by age group (0-2, 3-5, 6-10, 13+) and by best seller, new to Yoto, language, etc.
Just head over to the Yoto Sore to browse the options; I'm SURE you'll see somethign you know your kids will love!
If you need suggestions, check out this list with the Best Yoto Cards For Each Age.
Many Yoto lovers have given us their feedback, and these are their favorite cards!
You're going to need something to organize your Yoto Cards. We've gathered all the options and given you the pros and cons of each: How To Organize and Store Yoto Cards.
"Make Your Own" Cards
In addition to all of the content available through Yoto, you can also purchase their blank "Make Your Own" cards and upload your own content.
This is one of the under rated principles of the Yoto - the fact that you can build a personalized library of custom content for your kids!
These MYO cards work like a blank CD: you can upload any MP3 files you legally own and then rewrite the MYO card in the future.
We love to use these cards for recorded messages from grandparents, audiobooks not currently offered in the Yoto Card Store, or our current favorite dance music (Encanto soundtrack, anyone?).
- We have step-by-step directions of how to make a Yoto Card here - it's much easier than you think!
- Yoto also has very detailed guides for creating MYO cards here.
- This post is all about sourcing great MYO content.
- You can also check out this post for exact links of popular character content! (like Bluey, Blippi, Peppa, etc)
- And once you start making your own cards, you're going to need to label them.
- How to Make Your Own Yoto Cards - Step By Step Directions
- The Best Yoto Cards For Each Age (That Your Kids Will Listen To On Repeat)
- Sources for MYO Yoto Cards of Popular Characters: Cocomelon, Blippi, Peppa, Encanto, Daniel Tiger, Bluey, and More
- All About Labeling MYO Yoto Cards - Vinyl Labels, Sticker Printers, and More
The Yoto Card Club
The Yoto Card Club is the best way to build your library on a budget.
Basically, you pay $9.99/month and you get 2 free cards a month out of a monthly selection. So that's like getting cards at $5/each.
(You can also buy the entire year upfront at $99, which is like getting two months free.
....You also qualify for free shipping from the Yoto Store
....and you ALSO get 10% off everything in the store!
Sol, the most cost-effective thing you can do it sign up for the Yoto Club ($9.99/month recurring purchase) and then immediately by a Yoto Player or Yoto Mini. You'll get 10% off either one, plus free shipping, which does make it cheaper than Amazon.
You'll also get 10% off any silicone cases, card cases, or actual cards you purchase.
You can easily cancel the club at any time, but I'd keep it for a little while and build your library at $5/card. Considering most single cards are $9-14, it's a no brainer!
How To Pick Your Two Free Cards with the Yoto Club
Here's how the club works:
You are billed in advance for the Yoto Club. So you're billed in September for what you'll recieve in October.
- 1st of the month: Club Selections are post on Yoto's Card Club page. They usually have the synopsis, duration and samples for you to check out.
- 20th of the month: you wait for an email from the Yoto Card Club, and then you can pick your selections for the month. You MUST wait for he email, which are are sent in batches, for the page to work. Then you just click the two cards you want and your options are saved.
- 20-31 of the month - The selection window is open for you to choose your two cards. You can actually update your selection at any time during this window; just open the link again and toggle a different option. Whatever is selected at the end of the month is what will ship.
- If you don't make an official club selection, you'll automatically get the two exclusive club cards on the list. They are both new to Yoto, so it won't be something you already have.
- 1-10th of the next month - your pick is locked in, and they ship the two cards out to you for free! These also get processed in waves, so don't worry - they'll show up when it's your turn.
FAQs About the Yoto Player
What is the cheapest way to acquire a library of Yoto cards? Are there special sale times?
Every so often Yoto will have sales going on their cards. They typically have a summer sale and sales around the holidays.
Otherwise, the best way to save money on Yoto cards is to get a set of cards sold together.
I also highly recommend the Yoto Club subscription, which costs $10 a month and gets you two new cards each month. You pick from 6-8 options selected for tha4t month, two of which will always be new-to Yoto cards. So if you're going to be buying cards consistently, that subscription will definitely save you money!
How do I access Yoto radio?
The Yoto player has an in-house radio station that is totally free to listen to! Just press the button on the right-hand side twice to access the radio station (with no card in).
How do podcasts work on Yoto?
Yoto releases an episode of a short podcast every day. You'll hear fun facts and jokes each day and your kids will love it! Just push the right-hand button with no card in your player to listen.
Overall, we think Yoto players are an awesome toy and tool for kids.
Do you have a Yoto player yet? Do you love it? Tell us what your favorite Yoto cards are in the comments below!