Yoto Review 2023: Is it the best Audio Player for kids? 

Yoto review

In this Yoto review, we will cover the pros, cons, best features, and alternatives. By the end, you will have found the best screen-free babysitter for your kids! 

Sometimes it can be so hard to get things done around the house while making sure your kids don’t destroy the place! TV shows and movies are often a go-to for us to help entertain our kids so we can get things done. Although we always try to make sure our kids are watching educational and wholesome shows and movies, we frequently feel guilty that we are “always” putting them in front of a screen. 

Yoto may be your new best friend as it both entertains and educates your kids while also keeping their screen time down! 

Yoto Summary


The Yoto player and the Yoto mini are both great options as a kids’ screen-free audio player! Yoto is a box-shaped speaker with a digital screen that looks super retro.

Your kids are able to listen to music, stories, and even podcasts! The content for the Yoto is on your child’s own cards that are inserted into the top of the Yoto player. 

Yoto has content for a larger age range of kids than most other kid audio players. Yoto says their content is for ages 3-12, but honestly, so much of the Yoto card selection would pique the interest of a much older audience.

Another key benefit of Yoto is the battery life being up to 24 hours, as long as you download the Yoto cards to the Yoto player.

The Yoto screen is multipurpose, acting as a clock, displaying images that go along with the story, and can also act as a night light.

Recently a Yoto mini has been created which has most of the same features as the original, but is smaller and easily portable!

Overall, we feel the Yoto is a top-tier choice for screen-free alternative entertainment for kids! 

Battery

With a battery life of 24 hours, you can take it anywhere!

Audience

Targeting an age range of 3-12, Yoto has content for a large audience! 

Podcast

Yoto allows kids to listen to age-appropriate podcasts to entertain and educate!!

Content

Yoto content can be stored on the Yoto player and Yoto app so you never lose it and can listen without WiFi!

Routines

Yoto has radio, podcasts, and music for morning time and bedtime to help with routines! 

Display

Fun digital display with images for each story, a sleep trainer, and a clock!

Overall Rating:

4.9 / 5

Yoto Pros

  • Yoto mini option for great portability and price
  • Content for a large age range, up to 12 years old or older
  • Unmatched battery life of up to 24 hours
  • The bonus of a clock, sleep trainer, and nightlight 
  • Can be used as a Bluetooth speaker
  • Easy storage of content cards

Yoto Cons

  • Cards are not as fun as Storypod Crafties or Toniebox Tonies 
  • Lacking interactive features 

Starts at $120

What is Yoto?

two kids playing with yoto

Yoto is an ingenious audio player designed specifically for children. It’s not just any ordinary audio player; it’s a gateway to a world of captivating stories, enchanting music, and educational content. This innovative device was built with a child’s curiosity and learning in mind, offering a safe and interactive audio experience that fosters their imagination.

Difference between Yoto Player and Yoto mini

yoto and yoto mini
from yoto.com

Honestly, there isn’t a huge difference between the two different audio players. The biggest difference would be that the Yoto player has up to 24-hour battery life while the Yoto mini only holds up to 14 hours. The Yoto mini does not include a night light like the Yoto player. The other biggest difference is the cost since the Yoto player is $119.99 whereas the Yoto mini is $59.99. Luckily both contain the same amount of storage.

One of the coolest features that both the Yoto player and the Yoto mini include is the “OK to wake” feature. In the app, you can essentially set an alarm clock that will cause the image on your audio player to switch from a moon to a sun when it is okay for your child to wake up. We seriously could benefit from this feature as our 3-year-old son loves coming out of his room way before it’s “morning time”.

How Does Yoto Work?

Yoto’s operation is refreshingly straightforward. It uses physical cards that children insert into the Yoto player to access content. Each of the Yoto cards represents a different story, song, or educational material. This tactile interaction not only makes Yoto easy for kids to use but also provides a sense of ownership and control over their listening choices. In this way, Yoto is a great activity for Montessori play!

Content Variety

gruffalo yoto card

One of the standout features of Yoto is its extensive library of content. From classic children’s tales to the latest adventures, Yoto offers an ever-growing selection of stories that cater to different age groups and interests.

dad creating yoto content
dad's yoto card

Yoto also provides a “make your own card” option! Parents, friends, loved ones, or even your children can record their own stories or messages onto blank cards to be played on the Yoto player or Yoto mini device, creating a truly personalized experience. This feature is especially cool because then your child can listen to your voice telling them a story while falling asleep at night, while you are away on a trip, or just to get entertained by you while you work on bills! A perfect way to multi-task!

personalizing yoto card

Your child can even personalize their own blank card with stickers or by decorating it with crayons or markers.

Safety and Control

Parents can rest easy knowing that Yoto provides a safe and controlled environment for their children. The content is carefully curated to ensure that it’s age-appropriate, and there’s no access to unsupervised internet content. Yoto also allows parents to set time limits, so they can manage their child’s screen-free listening time.

Why Yoto Matters

kids listening to yoto

Yoto represents a paradigm shift in how children consume audio content. It encourages active listening and fosters a child’s imagination while minimizing screen time. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through a digital device, Yoto offers a more mindful and interactive approach to entertainment and education. It empowers children to make choices and engage in creative play while developing their listening skills and vocabulary.

Yoto is a great Montessori item! Montessori is child-led learning and encourages independence and self-discovery. In a Montessori-style play setting, the toys and activities are carefully selected to align with the child’s developmental stage, making learning feel like play and play feel like learning. Montessori-style education empowers children to explore their interests and passions while fostering independence and a lifelong love for learning. Yoto provides learning for children that is fun and interactive, and will help your child develop a love for learning!

Yoto players are also a fabulous device to help your child learn how to play independently. As important as it is to play and spend time with our children, it is also important for their development for them to learn how to play and entertain themselves. Yoto players provide a setting for children to learn and have fun without needing a screen to entertain themselves. As a parent, anything that teaches our children while they also are having fun is a huge bonus!

Who is Yoto for?

kids in fort with yoto

Kids of a large age range will love Yoto! One exciting piece we like about Yoto is that you can listen to popular book series like The Chronicles of Narnia! That was one of Alex’s absolute favorite series as a teenager.

This just goes to show you that Yoto has a great content selection for even your older kids! Yoto says their content is for ages 3-12, however, we feel that even older children may love some of the content they provide!

Great for kids who love reading and stories! Yoto is like having access to hundreds of fun and imaginative audio books for kids! There is such a large variety of options to pique the interest of both young and older readers. From The Very Hungry Caterpillar up to Star Wars, if your child loves stories there is bound to be something they will enjoy!

Great to foster kids’ imagination! Storytelling is a great way to let your kids’ imaginations run free! Children’s imagination is such a crucial part of their development and not only does Yoto provide just that, it will also enhance your child’s intellectual development and vocabulary! 

Great for screen-free kid’s entertainment! We are definitely guilty of using screens to entertain our kids. Yoto is a great alternative to screens that will engage your kids for hours! This is also a fabulous way to decrease screen time while traveling! 

Great way to introduce podcast learning! This is a unique pro for Yoto as they provide kids with an original podcast as well as many other kid-friendly podcasts to learn and be entertained by!

What benefits does Yoto provide?

Battery

With a battery life of up to 24 hours, you can take your Yoto player anywhere! It is important to note that on the Yoto website, they say you can only get this much time on one charge if you listen to the content you downloaded straight to the Yoto itself. Otherwise, listening to content with the Yoto cards or other Yoto content you will get 10 hours of battery life. 

Other children’s audio players such as Toniebox and Storypod have a much shorter battery life making Yoto a step ahead in that area! Yoto’s battery life will allow for listening to much longer stories, such as the Narnia series, without needing much recharging. This makes for a bonus when going on long car rides and not needing to recharge often.

Yoto has both a USB charging cord (included with your purchase) and a wireless magnet charging dock.

Audience

When compared to other kids’ audio players Yoto stands out as a winner with the content they have for a wide age range. You will be hard-pressed to find another kids’ audio player with stories that keep kids up to 12 years old or older engaged!

If you have older children then Yoto may be the best option for you! 

Yoto also provides many options for younger children since some of the Yoto cards play music or include bedtime stories!

We recently bought a Storypod and feel that is a great fit for our family since we have very young boys, but after researching Yoto we have been super impressed with the wide range of content and podcasts for kids! We seriously are talking about buying a Yoto as well when our kids get a little older! 

Yoto has fun kids’ books and stories as well as stories for your more advanced and proficient readers. Some Yoto cards that stood out to us are the Narina series and Star Wars books! 

Heck, we may even get a Yoto for us to use and let the kids enjoy their Storypod! 

Podcasts 

Yoto allows kids to listen to age-appropriate podcasts to entertain and educate!!

We love listening to podcasts and have learned SOO much. We never really thought about the fact that there are kids’ podcasts as well! 

Yoto’s podcast is hosted by Jake, who is a former elementary school teacher! He engages the kids with thought-provoking questions, guided art projects, and even songs and jokes. He has new daily podcast episodes.

Content

Yoto content can be stored on the Yoto and Yoto app so you never lose it and can listen without WiFi.

This is another area where Yoto differs from its competitors. With Storypod for example, you have to have the little craftie toy that has the content chip in it to play the content. If you lose the craftie you lose the content. 

With Yoto you don’t have to worry about that. The content you purchase will always be accessible through your app, so at the very least, the content on the Yoto app will still be available via Bluetooth connection with your phone! 

Yoto is constantly adding to its content library almost every week! 

Additional options in the Yoto card library are the selection for education and learning. Some Yoto cards include addition and subtraction and even phonics audio files! How cool!

Routines

girl in bed with yoto

Yoto has radio, podcasts, and music for morning time and bedtime to help with routines! 

This is a big reason why we got our Storypod to help our kids with their morning and bedtime routines! Yoto has great content specific to helping kids get their responsibilities done in the morning before school and help them calm down for bedtime. It is morning mania and bedtime battles at our house frequently so this benefit would be a lifesaver! 

Yoto has a huge selection of bedtime stories that would serve as a big help during bedtime routines. How nice would it be to let your kids listen to stories as they fall asleep at night? It might help them stay in bed all while continuing to enhance their learning and development. Win-Win!

Display

Yoto players have a digital display with images for each story! This is a fun way for kids to have a little more interaction with the stories! One of the main reasons we love kids’ audio players is that they will help our kids stay away from screens. Since Yoto has a screen, it is somewhat counterproductive in that way, but remains far more beneficial than a TV or tablet screen!

Granted, the digital display screen acts as a clock when the Yoto isn’t playing content. If you want to have your kids start using an alarm clock and getting up themselves then Yoto can do that as well! This may be helpful for older kids especially. 

Our 3-year-old definitely doesn’t need an alarm clock, we are always trying to find ways to get him to sleep longer instead of waking us up at the crack of dawn haha. However, the “ok to wake” feature would benefit us as parents of our 3-year-old. As mentioned earlier, this feature gives kids a way to know when it is okay to get out of bed in the morning based on the color of the display.

Join the Yoto Club

several yotos

Join the Yoto Club and get big savings while consistently receiving 2 new Yoto cards in the mail each month! By signing up you choose to be billed either annually for $99 or monthly at $9.99. Many of the Yoto cards are already $9.99 or more a piece, so being a member of the Yoto Club is a sweet deal! In addition, you will get free shipping and 10% off all Yoto products!

Sign us up! We love having a steady flow of books in our home. Here is a great way to keep the stories coming without the constant need to remember to do so!

What are people saying about Yoto

Here are some of the top reviews straight from the Yoto website. We found that people consistently have some amazing things to say about Yoto!

yoto review 1
from yoto.com
yoto review 2
from yoto.com
yoto review 3
from yoto.com
yoto review 4
from yoto.com
yoto review 5
from yoto.com

Yoto Pricing – How Much Does it Cost?

Yoto

$120

Yoto mini starts at $70

Includes:

  • Yoto player 3rd generation
  • USB charging cord
  • Welcome Yoto card
  • Access to all of Yoto’s free content (like the podcast) in the app

Cards

$7

Card prices vary. Can purchase card packs that range in price up to $35.

Options Include:

  • Blank cards to put recorded content on
  • Popular stories like Disney
  • Great book series like Narnia
  • Great music like Kidz Bop
  • So much more!

Yoto Club

$10/ month

Yearly payment option is $100. Get deals and constant new content automatically shipped!

Yoto Club includes:

  • 2 Yoto cards are sent every month
  • Free Shipping!
  • 10% off everything on Yoto all the time!

Yoto Alternatives

Storypod

storypod
from storypod.com

Storypod is another favorite when it comes to kids’ screen-free audio players!  We just bought one for our kids for Christmas! 

Storypod is a portable cylinder-shaped speaker with tons of amazing content options!  The content comes in small yarn characters (called crafties), tokens, books, trivia decks, and activity cards!  There is so much original content along with some old classic stories and music. 

Storypod is more than just an audio player, it is a great educational tool for kids!  

The major thing that stands out with Storypod is its ability to interact with the content.  The buttons on the top allow kids to do quizzes and answer trivia questions.  

Much like Toniebox, the content is geared toward the younger kids. Although, Storypod says they capture a broader age range of 0-6+ which is great!

Toniebox

toniebox
from toniebox.com

Toniebox is another really popular alternative and has been entertaining kids for years with popular stories and music!  One of the major differences with Toniebox is their content.  Toniebox focuses on cherished Disney classic stories and music!  If your kids are huge Disney fans then Toneibox may be a better choice.  

The content comes on ‘tonies’ which are hard plastic character figurines.  These are really cool because they can also be a fun addition to your kids’ toys and room decor! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yoto cards that are downloaded, while connected to the internet, to your Yoto player can then be played without Wifi. However content from Yoto radio or Yoto podcasts will need to be online to stream content

When a friend plays your own card on their Yoto player or Yoto mini, it will then save to their content library and be removed from yours. Once you play it on your Yoto player again, then it will be re-added to your library and then removed from your friends.

Although Yoto has a subscription option available you do not need to have a subscription to own or use a Yoto.

Conclusion – Is Yoto Worth It?

In short YES! Yoto is unlike other kids’ audio players in so many ways! It is a great product with a great reputation. 

Especially if you have older kids, Yoto is a great option! 

We always see aggressive behavior spike from our boys when we put them in front of the TV for too long. We often get that evil glare and frequent tantrums when it is time to turn it off. Having another way for our kids to consume wholesome fun and educational content is a lifesaver! Yoto can be a wonderful resource for you and your kids! Having another tool in the parenting toolbox for keeping your home stress-free and peaceful makes a kids’ audio player like Yoto a huge assist! Try Yoto and see how you like it! 

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