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Encouraging children to have less screen time can be tricky. Yoto’s wonderful audio players offer a way for children to listen to music and stories, and have independence of being able to do it all themselves. Read on for a detailed Yoto mini player review!
What is a Yoto player?
Yoto has a couple of different Yoto players, the Yoto player (3rd generation) and the Yoto mini. The Yoto player is a portable audio player that uses story cards to play audio content.
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The Yoto mini is an audio player which is a smaller size compared to the Yoto original. The main difference between the two players is that the Yoto mini is more of a compact size, measuring only 7cm by 7cm (4cm depth).
Buy the Yoto mini here.
The Yoto mini box only has a couple of controls, which makes it really easy to use for little hands. On the left hand side you’ll find a grey on/ off button. The front of the player has a speaker, pixel display and two orange knobs which can be turned. These orange knobs are used to control the volume and to skip between chapters or songs.
On a full charge, the Yoto mini has up to 20 hours of battery life. You don’t want the battery to run out mid story so you can have peace of mind knowing that the battery will last a really long time.
How to set up the Yoto mini
Setting up the Yoto mini is really easy and only takes a few minutes. Follow these simple steps:
- Turn on your Yoto mini player and have it plugged in, charging, with the USB cable
- Download the Yoto App
- Pair your Yoto mini player – the app will tell you how to pair your device to your phone. This includes pairing with your home’s WiFi.
- You’re ready to go!
Charging your Yoto mini
The Yoto mini players come with a USB-C cable. The cable is bright orange, which I love, as it makes it easier to find. Although there isn’t a plug provided, most of us will have a USB compatible plug already at home.
Yoto players work with Yoto cards, which are roughly the size of a credit card. To play the card, you insert a Yoto card into the top, where there is a card slot provided. In this case, it would be at the top of the Yoto Mini. Once inserted, the player will begin to play the audio from the card.
Yoto offer a really wide range of Yoto Cards, which can be purchased via the online shop on the Yoto website. You can filter the cards by things like age, creator, character or best sellers and new releases. This is a really easy way to narrow down your choices and find something suitable for the child you’re buying for. Different kind of cards include:
- Classic stories
- Music cards
- Make Your Own (aka myo cards)
- Sleep sounds
These are just a few of the types of Yoto cards available and I’m sure you’ll find stories from a lot of your and your children’s favourite authors. Sometimes a card will be singular and sometimes you’ll be able to get a pack from either the same author or of the same theme. Your children might be huge fans of Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton, where sets are available. Maybe they’ll like more specific topics like educational content or music cards. Whichever your children prefer, there’s definitely something for children of all ages.
Check out the full range of Yoto cards.
Using the Yoto app
The Yoto app is free to download so it won’t cost you any extra money to use. The app is essential for being able to use your Yoto mini and getting the most out of your player.
The Yoto App is such a handy tool for being able to get the most out of your Yoto player. Your player is more than just an audio player and the app means you can customise it in quite a few different ways. These include:
- Using the Yoto player as an alarm clock
- Controlling the brightness of the display
- Controlling the volume limits
- Customising the button shortcuts
- Limiting the volume when using headphones
- Choosing a 12 or 24 hour clock display
- Being able to pick what time ‘nighttime’ is so the display changes accordingly
Controlling your Yoto player
Erin likes to use her Yoto mini as a story player for some quiet time before she goes to sleep. This means she starts something while she’s in bed and generally, she will fall asleep while it’s still playing with the box is sat on a shelf. Instead of having to go up to Erin’s room to turn the player off, I can use the app to press stop, or pause, or turn the volume down etc.
You can also use the Yoto app to control any of the players you have. If you have more than one Yoto player, for instance, a Yoto mini and an original Yoto player, then you can use the app to switch between these. This is great if you have multiple children using Yoto players in more than one room.
Use the app as a player
You can also use the Yoto app to play the audio cards right from your phone. As the audio files download to the app as soon as you’ve used a card, this means you can use your phone as a player too. Multiple family members can join the family account, meaning control isn’t limited to just one person. This is great if children sleep over anywhere, go away on holiday or you just forget to take the Yoto player somewhere.
Free content on the Yoto app
From the ‘my library’ screen on the Yoto app you’re able to access a whole host of sleep sounds, free of charge. These include white noise, a train journey, thundery rain, gentle waves and even the Yoto sleep radio.
Yoto has some great radio stations available via the app, again, from the ‘my library’ screen. Stations include BBC radio, lullabies, Yoto radio and stations in other languages.
Want to try some podcasts for children? The Yoto app is a great place to start. Titles include The Yoto Daily Podcast, Activity Quest, Armchair Adventures and CBeebies.
Protecting your Yoto Mini
Mini Adventure Jacket
Kids are very well-known for dropping things… a lot. You don’t want anything to happen to the Yoto mini so the Adventure Jacket Mini is a great accessory to buy. The jacket comes in 7 wonderful colours, meaning you can use different colours for siblings or just pick your favourite.
The silicone jacket fits the Yoto player snugly but still has space for the controls. It also comes with a wrist strap so children can carry the player around easily… and safely.
Accessories worth buying
Although the Yoto mini is great on its own, some awesome accessories are also available. I find a lot of them to be really useful, and compliment the player well.
Yoto players are not only a great way for children to listen to music and stories at home but also while travelling. However, we all might not want to listen to those stories so Yoto’s wireless headphones are a great accessory to buy. Pairing the headphones with the Yoto player for the first time is really easy and only takes a couple of minutes when following the instructions.
If you’re worried about the volume being used on the headphones, then take a look in the Yoto app. There’s a setting where you can restrict the volume limit while headphones are being used. The sound is really good so younger children especially shouldn’t need the volume too loud.
The wireless headphones also come with a standard headphone jack, meaning they can be plugged in and used as well if needed. It’s nice to have both options available.
It won’t take long for you to build up a really nice collection of Yoto cards so you’ll need somewhere to store them. The soft card case is ideal for keeping cards in one place and in a nice order (or maybe not). The case holds 64 cards in plastic pockets and can be zipped up. This is a great place to keep any new cards you get, making them easy to find and use.
For families like us who travel a lot, and go on plenty of days out, the Yoto mini travel case is a must-have accessory. Not only does the hard-shelled case have space for the Yoto mini, a cable, kids’ headphones and up to 30 Yoto Cards but it also has an adjustable strap. You can wear the case either over the shoulder or as a cross-body bag. The case also has a cable hole, which means kids can keep listening while the Yoto mini stays safe and sound.
Join the Yoto club
If you’re someone who likes a subscription service then joining the Yoto club might be something to consider. You can pay either monthly or annually, with the annual option being slightly cheaper per month.
Each month that you’re a member of the Yoto club you will receive 2 club credits which are added to your account. You can choose to either use these straight away on cards you like the look of or save them for up to 12 months. You can choose cards to order from the list provided as soon as your credits are available. Available cards vary from month to month.
The Yoto mini is a great addition to our home. Erin can independently choose from the physical cards she has in her card case and pop on a story. Now, which cards do we get next?