I’m so excited to finally share my Yoto player review after lots of testing with my three kiddos.
We’ve been longtime fans of Storypod and recent fans of Toniebox. We loved both of them so much that it’s no surprise we’re also loving the Yoto player!
Here’s a birds-eye view of my thoughts on this audio player for kids.
The Yoto Player is a screen-free, interactive audio device that uses physical cards to play a variety of audio content. Bedtime stories, music, and educational podcasts are just some of the audio options!
The Yoto player’s showstopper quality is the wide variety of audio card options over a vast age range of 3-12+. Other audio players, like Storypod and Toniebox, cater to a more limited age range.
While the cards are easy to lose, and building the collection gets expensive, this is a fantastic, screen-free toy for kids of all ages.
Wide variety of audio cards
Grows with you – age range of 3-12+
Screen-free audio for kids
Long battery life
Option to record your own audio on blank cards
Amazing content options like Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Sesame Street, My First 100 Words, The Chronicles of Narnia, Winnie-the-Pooh, and so much more
Pixel art on the screen is fun!
An amazing tool for bedtime songs and stories
Yoto cards work in the app – you don’t have to have the Yoto device to listen
Tons of extra features, like daily podcasts, radio stations, alarms, night light, and more
Cards are easy to lose without buying the card case
Growing your card collection gets expensive
Volume doesn’t get as loud as I’d like
Relatively consistent reports of devices not working after a short time, though customer service is phenomenal
What’s a Yoto Player?
Yoto Player is a screen-free audio device for kids that uses cards (they look like credit cards) to play the audio.
Think of it like a podcast app on your smartphone or maybe an Audible subscription, but completely kid-oriented.
The biggest selling point for parents these days is it has no microphone, no camera, and no ads. It’s purely audio, though it does have a cute screen that shows pixelated art with each audio track.
How to Use the Yoto Player
I love a self-explanatory tech device. And the Yoto Player couldn’t be simpler.
- Pop a card in the card slot on the top of the player.
- Change chapters and adjust the volume using the two buttons.
That’s literally it!
Yoto Player Card Storage Ideas
I do want to mention really quick that you’ll want to get some kind of card case. We’ve lost a few of our Yoto cards because the case they come in isn’t that secure.
Yoto sells a case, but you can also order it from Amazon for super fast shipping. I just ordered this one to get everything organized.
A few other Yoto Player card storage ideas:
- Clamp the cards (use these card holder clamps) and put them on a keychain cable
- Baseball card storage box
- Card deck box
- Zip-up credit card organizer
- Wooden card storage box
Cool Details About the Yoto Player
I bought the Yoto Player to compare against the Storypod and Tonie box. Obviously, a regular family doesn’t need three different kids’ audio devices.
But as a blogger, I wanted personal experience with all of them.
The Yoto Player immediately stood out to me for the age range and unique setup – the card system is pretty cool, and I just love the look of the actual Yoto device.
But it wasn’t until I sat down to write this review that I realized just how many cool details there are!
I honestly didn’t realize that the Yoto Player doubled as a night light.
You flip the device upside down, and you can choose from 7 different colors. Our 4-year-old recently became scared of the dark and literally sleeps with his light on, so this will be the perfect solution!
In the Yoto app, you can set a wake-up time.
The Yoto Player’s clock and night light will change to show that it’s time to get up! You can set your color as well.
Exclusive Yoto Content
Something else I never realized is you can press the right button once to play the Yoto Daily Podcast, and you can press twice to play Yoto Radio. (These right button shortcuts are customizable.)
I thought you had to put cards in to listen to audio, but that’s not the case!
- Yoto Daily is hosted by Jake, a father and former elementary school teacher whose sing-song voice reveals mind-boggling facts, cracks rib-tickling jokes, and inspires little listeners through games, draw-alongs, and other fun activities.
- Yoto Radio is a free all-day radio stream. Start an on-demand dance party, enjoy a slow and soulful afternoon or relax to restful night time radio.
There’s also other exclusive audio content that doesn’t require cards, including:
- Sleep Sounds, a collection of noises like white noise, pink noise, and calming natural soundscapes
- Sleep Radio, a calming collection of sleepy songs and sounds
- Toothbrush Timer (2 minutes)
- Tidy-up Timer (5 minutes)
- Homework Timer (30 minutes)
You can also set alarms in the Yoto app. Choose the time and days of the week, and then select what type of alarm you want.
I love “Wake with Jake,” but there are tons of other options, like “Surf’s Up,” “Fanfare,” and “Time for School.”
They’re all short, simple audio bits that’ll wake up your kiddo.
Make Your Own Content
Yoto also has the option to make your own content with blank cards.
These cards are a great way to get free content for your Yoto player. One hack is to borrow CDs from your local library, download them to your computer, and upload the mp3 files to your blank card.
But you can upload any mp3 tracks! You can also record your own audio, which could be singing some songs or reading your kiddo’s favorite books.
Yoto Cards, Explained
The real magic of the Yoto player lies in the cards.
You can think of Yoto cards as CDs and the Yoto player as a CD player. The cards hold all of the audio, and when you pop them in the slot, it starts playing.
Yoto has an amazing selection of card options – you’re bound to find a ton of options your child will love.
You can filter the card options by age: 0-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9+.
Yoto for Babies (Age 0-2)
For babies, you’ll find everything from The Beatles to The Laurie Berkner Collection. My 21-month-old LOVES the Laurie Berkner songs!
There are also lots of stories, like The Llama Llama Collection, Brown Bear & Friends, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Sleepy Stories.
According to a 2019 report, kids whose parents read them 5 books per day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids whose parents never read to them.
This has been dubbed the “million-word gap.”
Devices like the Yoto, which can read stories to your baby when you’re doing other things (think laundry, dishes, cooking, etc.), can make huge strides in ensuring your child hears plenty of words at a young age!
Yoto for Toddlers (Ages 3-5)
The Yoto device has tons of card options for toddlers. We’ve got Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, Disney Classics, Frog and Toad, Peter Rabbit, and so much more.
And something I really love about the Yoto is you can avoid pop culture cards altogether. Yoto has a huge lineup of cards that don’t rely on popular TV or movie characters.
Here’s a quick sampling:
- 5-Minute Sleepy Stories
- Yoto Daily: Quizzes
- Yoga in Nature
- Flags of the World
- The Ancient Adventures Collection
- Math Phase 1
- Mindfulness Moments for Kids: Three Calming Activities (great for quiet time)
- Phonics: Letters & Sounds: Phase 1
- Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (a favorite book around here!)
The sheer number of audio options beats Storypod and Toniebox easily. This is a collection you can really build on without ever getting bored of the same audio (it just gets expensive).
Yoto for Kids (Ages 6-8)
Yoto has over 700 card collections suitable for ages 6-8 – I just can’t do it justice here.
But a few that really caught my eye include:
- Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Academy: No Humans Allowed
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- Charlotte’s Web
- Stuart Little
- The Boxcar Children Collection
- 97 1/2 Jokes for Big Kids
- Yoto Daily: Draw Along (this card has 12 draw-along activities from a robot to vehicles!)
- BrainBots – Biggest Ideas
It’s so impressive!
Yoto for Older Kids & Teens (Ages 9+)
And where Yoto just flies past the other audio players for kids is the fact that it caters to big kids and even teenagers.
There are over 400 audio options for ages 9+, including:
- Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark
- Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy
- Anne of Green Gables
- Peter Pan
- Wings of Fire Pack
- The Classics Collection (including stories like The Wizard of Oz)
- Roller Girl
- Queen – Greatest Hits Volume 1
- Ticket to Brazil
- Dyamonde Daniel Pack
- KIDZ BOP All-Time Greatest Hits
- The Trouble Begins: A Collection of Unfortunate Events
- Rebel Girls: Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic
- Marvel Junior Novels Captain America Bundle
The only downside to the Yoto for ages 9+ is it may be more convenient at this point to switch to an Audible subscription or renting audiobooks from the library.
That said, Yoto doesn’t disappoint and has tons of options for families who don’t want to introduce other tech into the home.
What’s Yoto Club – and Is It Worth It?
I’m not a huge fan of subscriptions in general – I don’t like recurring charges, and it feels like a mindless purchase to me.
However, if you’re loving the Yoto player and want to slowly expand your collection, I actually think Yoto Club is a pretty good deal.
The way it works is simple:
- Choose your two cards for the month
- You can listen in the Yoto app right away
- Your cards come in the mail
Yoto Club Cost
You get two new cards each month for $99 per year, which breaks down to $8.25 per month. If you don’t want to pay for the whole year at once, you can choose the monthly option at $9.99.
If you were to buy cards without being in the club, they average at around $10 each. It varies a little bit based on how many cards are in the pack and whether it’s a famous character or an original Yoto card.
But being in the club gets you two cards for $8.25 per month – it’s pretty easy to see that this is a great deal.
Being in the Yoto Club also gets you free shipping on all orders and 10% off everything, even during sales. You can cancel anytime.
Yoto vs Toniebox vs Storypod
Look, I’ll just be honest here: our family owns all three of these audio players for kids, and we still use all three of them to this day.
They’re similar but unique in their own ways.
Best to Grow With You
Longer battery life (24 hours)
Cards are easy to lose
Audio stops playing when card is taken out
Best For Under Age 4
Best for ages 0-4
10-hour battery life
Crafties are easy to find
Audio continues playing even if you remove the craftie
Best For Popular Characters
Best for ages 3-6
7-hour battery life
Tonies are easy to lose
Audio stops playing when tonie is removed
The pricing of all three of these audio players for kids is so similar – I wouldn’t base any decisions on price. I think the main differences are the age ranges and audio content options.
Honestly, as a parent, I think the Yoto player is the best value for your money as it’ll last through so many ages and stages. It also seems more refined in a lot of ways – the app is better than Storypod and Tonies, as an example.
The Storypod is the best purchase for a baby or young toddler (read my full review here). It has so many features that are baby-friendly, including:
- Crafties are soft, cuddly, and easy to find
- Audio continues playing when the craftie is removed (babies love doing this but would get mad if the audio were to stop playing)
- Content leans towards babies and toddlers
And finally, the Toniebox is definitely a kid-favorite for ages 3-6.
The characters are like little figurines, which is fun on its own. And the content is definitely focused on pop culture with tons of TV show and movie characters that older toddlers and young kids get excited about.
We love all three of them, but I hope this helps you decide which one is right for you.
Yoto Player FAQs
What age is appropriate for Yoto Player?
The Yoto Player is for ages 0-9+. The age range with the most content card options is 6-8.
Is Tonie or Yoto better?
We love both the Tonie and Yoto audio players, but I think the Yoto Player might be slightly better than the Tonie for it’s wider age range, longer battery life, and huge variety of audio cards.
Can a Yoto Player work without WIFI?
You need Wi-Fi to set up the Yoto Player, but once your cards are downloaded, the Yoto Player works without Wi-Fi.
What are the benefits of Yoto?
The Yoto Player has so many benefits, the primary one being that it’s screen-free entertainment for kids with no ads or cameras. Side benefits include the fact that 82% of Yoto Player owners agree it’s made bedtime easier, 89% said it makes traveling easier, and it provides so many learning opportunities for kids of all ages.
Is the Yoto Player Worth It?
The Yoto Player is 100% worth it! With over 800 audio cards, the longest battery life on the market, an age range spanning 0-9+, and ways to add audio for free (via blank cards), the Yoto Player is a true stand-out.
I do love Storypod and Toniebox, but I can see myself giving a slight edge to Yoto for those reasons.
What’s your Yoto player review? Let me know your experience in the comments below.