March 31, 2024 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Do you have a yoto for your kid(s)? Tell me everything.

I have 4 and 1/2 year old twins (boys, but I don't think that matters). While we watch way too much bluey, we definitely limit tablets to airplanes and loooong road trips. Additionally, we don't want an Alexa (or similar) anywhere in our home.
Hence, thinking about the yoto. I think they can definitely figure it out on their own, and I love the idea of being able to make your own cards.
I also like that they can be in control of music/stories during naptime, after bedtime.
So, is it that awesome? The price isn't an issue, I just hate buying stuff that ends up sucking.
Tips and tricks also welcome.
posted by atomicstone to Shopping (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We love ours, we have a Yoto Mini and it gets daily use with our 3yo. Mostly "make your own" (MYO) cards which have quickly turned into an obsession for me. Novelizations of movies (eg. Cars, Toy Story) are good, as is stripped audio from tv series and podcasts. And kiddo has a card with a music playlist on it that he often asks us to add songs to based on stuff he hears on the radio, etc.

We don't get as much traction out of Yoto radio or the soundscape etc., but I think that's age and kid dependant

He has a little wallet of cards and I'll make labels for the MYOs.

I would get the mini, myself, and you'll want definitely want the silicone jacket thing.

Lots and lots of information on r/YotoPlayer
posted by stray at 10:40 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Oh, you CAN usually link the RSS feed of a podcast to card and it'll connect to the most recently 20 episodes or so, but it's a bit fussy and you can only then use them when connected to the internet. I find it easier to painstakingly download episodes from something like listennotes.com.

The player has internal storage - if you leave it on, plugged in and connected to the internet and most importantly empty (no card in the slot), it will gradually download the content you've most recently played up to 32 GB. It'll overwrite stuff you haven't listened to lately.
posted by stray at 10:47 AM on March 31

It is really that good.
The moon/sun display is good for guiding kiddos when to get up or not.
Our kid has a series called Audio Adventures which covers a range of nonfic topics. They love it, and it means they will regularly update us with the knowledge that, for example, the duck is played l by the oboe in Prokofiev's Peter And The Wolf.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:24 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Oh, it works quite nicely as a clock / nightlight - if you already have one of those you love I'd consider the mini maybe, but we love our full size one.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:25 AM on March 31

Response by poster: We do have a stop and go alarm clock already. I signed up to be notified when the mini comes back in stock.
posted by atomicstone at 11:36 AM on March 31

Best answer: I like ours a lot. A lot of the cards you can buy for it are pretty annoying, but if you stick with make-your-owns you can just only give your kids the means to play music you like. My kids actually really love Yoto radio, but I find it to be all over the place - sometimes great songs, sometimes soooo annoying.
posted by potrzebie at 3:55 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We love ours. We’ve bought a couple of story collections but my son (almost 7) usually uses it for podcasts for which it works pretty well. He especially likes their Yoto Daily podcast, and tries to listen to it most mornings. We basically always have it connected to the internet so the podcasts get updated but we have downloaded episodes and successfully taken it on longer road trips.
posted by malthas at 4:39 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We have two -- a classic and a mini. They're a hit on car rides, with the two sets of headphones we also got. They go through phases with Yoto Daily which is the short-ish daily podcast Yoto puts out. We've done podcasts on cards for the older kid, and I've made music MYO cards.

I think overall the cards are too expensive. Like, I refuse to spend $9 for something that's 20 minutes long. But some of them are a great value -- all of Frog and Toad read by Arnold Lobel? Yes, please! We were given a Yoto Club membership for a year (you get two "credits" a month and certain cards in their store are available at x credits, usually 1 credit per card). That's expanded our collection quite a bit, basically by two cards a month, one per kid.

I've made a ton of MYO cards from kid's books from Librivox. Sometimes it doesn't work to give my 6 year old a 2 hour audiobook from 1923, but surprisingly sometimes it really does!

When I got the thing, I swore I was going to record my own versions of read-along books, where there's a sound to indicate the kid should turn the page, but I never did it.

Overall I'm really happy with them. My two kids both quietly listened to music, weird history lessons, an audiobook of Pollyanna, and some assorted Disney retellings on a 10 hour car trip which is, you know, better than some alternatives?
posted by AbelMelveny at 4:51 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

I forgot to mention the toothbrush timer and other little free widgets. Those have been great.
posted by AbelMelveny at 4:51 PM on March 31

Agreed we love ours for our 5 year old. When he was smaller we had an iPad in his room for music at naptime/bedtime but that had to end once he was no longer in his crib. He goes in phases about how often he listens to books on tape on his own but he loved custom cards we made from playlists of his favorite music and he uses it every night for white noise (there’s a whole library of different sleep sounds, he uses the train one).
posted by rustcellar at 8:08 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We primarily use it as a kid-friendly mp3 player with the make your own cards or for listening to Yoto radio. It works great for that. I like that you can limit volume and control it remotely with a phone. I also like that it's super durable.

I thought it would get more use, but it's really more of a weekly thing than a daily thing. It also turned out that my kid is totally not into audiobooks.
posted by Gable Oak at 8:21 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Yoto cards are a standard NFC card and there are pretty decent tutorials for how to brew your own cards for about $1 each.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:32 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: One more question: with their cureent and previous stocking issues, let's say this company goes belly up after I buy one. Will I still be able to use the cards I bought and CONTINUE to make new MYOs? Or will some complicated server technology I don't understand just kill it?
posted by atomicstone at 5:57 AM on April 1

They’re essentially streaming from a private company cloud. There’s a chunk of local storage on your yoto for offline listening and you can backup your cards to a local drive, or set up your own streaming media resources. Not out of the box but doable.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:53 AM on April 1

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