Yoto Player at a glance:
Yoto is a carefully connected speaker that has the smarts of a connected device, but all the content is safe. Made for kids, controlled with physical cards and playing only the audio content you want them to listen to. There's no camera, microphone or ads to worry about.
Why do you think this product is so different to anything else on the market?
Gillian: I have never seen anything like this on the market. My toddler finds it so simple to use, I love that there is no screen, just simple graphics which my toddler loved! It’s a nice sized product and came very nicely packaged with easy to understand set up instructions. I love that the max volumes can all be controlled from the app.
Nicola: I really like this product, it has provided my daughter with time to listen and learn without the need for a screen which I feel is very few and far between these days. Don’t get me wrong I am all for screen time for learning/ a distraction whilst I cook the dinner but this product has arrived and it’s nice to have a change. She has been listening, watching the Yoto player and joining in with just a very basic photo popping up!
Laura: To my knowledge, this is a completely original product. I haven’t heard of anything like the Yoto player before. It’s portable and versatile and, unlike iPad, etc and it encouraged my daughter to use her imagination. There are a huge range of lovely, well-known stories so there’s something to suit everyone and additional cards to add to your library would make great birthday or Christmas presents. It can be used at night in conjunction with parent-read stories or during the day to inspire imaginative play. The Yoto player is small and light so would be perfect to take on holiday or maybe sleepovers.
Why does it change your life with your baby?
Gillian: We put this in my toddler's playroom and after giving him instructions once on how to use it he was away, there was no asking me “can I put this on “can I put a story on." We got him a radio card and even I enjoy listening to it (definitely makes me more relaxed as I don’t have a toddler nagging every 2 sections while I'm trying to feed a newborn.
Jessica: Independent activity that engages them for a period of time. I’m not sure it ‘changes life with my children’ but definitely allows for a time where they are occupied; therefore enabling me as a parent some time to do other things around the house for instance, or have a bit of rest! Was ideal on holiday as both transportable and engaging!!
Laura: It got her to sleep in her own bed for the first time EVER!! My daughter has never been a great sleeper and usually takes hours of cuddles for her to drop off. Since changing our routine to incorporate the Yoto player she is now able to fall asleep on her own. We still have a bedtime story and cuddles but now I put the Yoto player on and she is happy for me to leave the room. The Yoto player has also improved her listening and concentration. When we listen to the stories together she is able to discuss the plot and what she thought of it.
What excites you about this product?
Meera: It’s a fun product for the children to use which isn’t an Ipad/tablet! It is compact, durable, build is perfect for younger children. Peace of mind as a parent that your child is able to listen to curated, appropriate, safe content. Parental controls for things like controlling maximum speaker volume is also available via the App. It is easy to set-up on WiFi via the Yoto App (even I can do it!). Really simple and easy to use for children – physical cards Free content available on the Player and the App Nightlight is a cool additional benefit and it also has Bluetooth so can be used as a speaker
Gillian: I love that this product is very child friendly, easy for a child to use, very child friendly, he loves the music radio, all the song iv noticed are modern yet have been altered to be child-friendly lyrics, we got the sounds cards, I loved the little display picture (breath of fresh air not having a screen like a tv which made it gentle on the eyes) and he loved listening to the sounds figuring out what they were. It is so simple and I know its safe.
Laura: The Yoto player is exciting as it is a new way of getting young children excited about books and storytelling. It encourages children to explore their imaginations, inspired by the stories as opposed to TV and iPads which encourages children to ‘switch off’ their brains. Whilst I don’t think the Yoto Player should or would want to replace reading with parents and carers I think the two can work brilliantly in unison to promote reading and creativity within young children.
What one thing would you change about this product?
Gillian: As a multi lingual household I would love to see some other languages available especially Welsh (granted there are blank cards to create our own which is great!), welsh animals, a few welsh stories (even if they are translated versions of the current books as kids love them). There is literally nothing like this on the market so it would be snapped up.
Jessica: Slightly ‘clunky’ app interface with regards to it not being very intuitive. Difficult to change the wifi settings if moving between locations. However, this appears to be better on the newer version of the app. We also don’t feel the speakers themselves are of very high quality the sound can sometimes be mediocre.
Laura: It would be great to have the option to buy either the book or a series of illustrations to read/look at whilst listening to the story. I understand that most of the books are well known and easily found elsewhere but some kind of book or booklet that could complement the story and be used to store the card would be lovely. These could also be used to encourage conversation, or maybe other creative tasks, around the story. It would also provide somewhere to store the cards safely as they are quite small and I fear could be lost behind/ under furniture etc easily.