Nearly two years ago I first heard about the Yoto player from a friend. I was considering a TonieBox
, but knew it wasn't for us because of their limited story selection. I also knew my youngest would likely wander off with their story mini-figures.
But when I saw the Yoto player
I was in love. Now we own both a large player and a mini and we honestly use them both EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It's the best money I've ever spent on a product for my child and here's why:
Why We Love Our Yoto Player
1. Screen Free: I love that our Yoto is screen free. One time I saw a mom post in our curriculum group about a child encountering inappropriate content when they were listening to an audiobook because of the app they were using.
I know that whatever device your child is using, if it has internet connectivity, there is potential to encounter harmful or inappropriate content. Yoto lifts that worry from my shoulders while my children are still able to have autonomy over when and where they can listen to stories and music.
2.Multiple Ages: The Yoto player has been enjoyed by all our our children at various ages. From age 2, all of my kids have had a favorite story they love listening to and have easily been able to use the large knobs and cards. We also have enjoyed the built in podcast (Yoto Daily) and night-time radio.
3. Shared Stories: Being a family with a high emphasis on literacy, Yoto has helped my kids develop a love of language beyond their years. They have so many shared words and jokes from their shared favorite stories! It's one of the sweetest joys!
4. Unique Features: The Yoto player offers a lot of features not found in other products. We've used it as an "okay-to-wake" clock, a sound machine and a bluetooth speaker. Because of it's versatility I feel like we're really able to get our moneys worth out of it. As time has gone on (and our kids have grown) we've found more and more ways to use it.
Yoto Player Vs. Yoto Mini
We got the regular size Yoto player before the Yoto mini was invented, but eventually, when I saw how much our Yoto was getting used, we got a mini too.
I get asked all the time what the best one is, and I think it really depends. The sound quality is virtually the same on both (the mini is a touch quieter) and many of the functions (Yoto daily podcast, bluetooth capabilities, etc) are similar.
The major difference is the night light function. Our preschooler loves the night light function and we use it both for knowing when it's time to get up in the morning and when it's time to get up from rest time.
On the other hand, the mini is more portable and less expensive, so that's a plus! For both of our players we've found it imperative to invest in a protective case. Our yoto players have taken trips down the stairs, been dumped in a wet sink and dropped plenty of times. Somehow they've still survived!
How We Use Our Yoto Player
Our yoto player is used by many children and in may ways throughout the day. My oldest uses it when he gets up before anyone else in the mornings. It's a wonderful way for him to stay quiet, as to not wake anyone else, and he usually draws or plays legos while listening.
My youngest uses hers during our afternoon rest time. Without a Yoto story to keep her company she finds it hard to stay resting for the full 90 minutes. But with our whole stack of cards and a few toys she is able to keep herself entertained for long periods of time.
My middle child likes to listen at night. She loves listening to calming music or a beloved story before bed. We also use it overnight as their alarm clock (in their shared bedroom) so the nightlight keeps them company while they drift off.
I use it most for school. I cast music (using the bluetooth function) during composer study or use it for audiobooks or readings when I'm sick or am tired of reading for the day. We use it to listen to books while we work on our handcrafts, draw or bake together. There are many wonderful science, history and literature themed cards available in the Yoto Store