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Price on writing: £100 | Buy now from Amazon
What we like
Easy set up
Appealing to a wide age range
Great for bedtimes
24-hour battery life
Can be used as a speaker or with headphones
What we don’t like
Unmarked dials can be confusing
Cards are sold separately
Optional subscription is £8-10 per month
App logs out frequently
How we tested
Our parent-tester Mairi tested the player with her 3 youngest daughters, aged 7, 5 and 2. Together they tried out all the features and used the player around the house, in the garden and at bedtime.
Yoto Player: What is it?
The Yoto Player is a screen-free audio player designed for kids aged 3-12. Operated using two dials and cards inserted into the top of the player, it’s straightforward to use and offers tonnes of content - there are over 1,000 cards available - including audiobooks, meditations, podcasts, soundscapes and make-your-own cards.
Chunky and robust, it’s great for taking on journeys or camping as well as at home. The player has a nightlight and OK-to-wake alarm clock - making it a brilliant ally at bedtime. Mumsnetters love Yoto, and you'll often see it recommended as one of the best toys for 2-year-olds or best toys for 3-year-olds for birthdays, Christmas and during the summer holidays.
The Yoto Player has no adverts, camera or microphone and it doesn’t connect to the internet. Cards are available separately and there’s a subscription service priced at £8-10 per month which includes two new cards per month.
What are the key differences between the Yoto Player and the Yoto Mini?
The Yoto Player has a nightlight, better audio, wireless charging, an extra 16GB of storage and a room thermometer. It’s larger than the Yoto Mini and £40 more expensive at the time of writing.
Day-to-day, our testers used the Yoto Mini and the Yoto Player in much the same way. If you’re looking for a player to use at home and for bedtime, the Yoto Player has the edge with its nightlight feature.
If you’re after a player to take on car journeys, camping and on holidays, the Yoto Mini is a better bet - its smaller size is particularly good for small hands to operate and carry around independently.
How easy is the Yoto Player to set up?
Our tester Mairi loved the design straight away. She liked that the player is fairly compact and that it has a clock and nightlight.
“We had to download the app and then connect with the WiFi via a code. It went fairly smoothly. Instructions were good. I am not the most tech savvy and usually delegate this kind of task but I did it myself so that's testament to how easy the setup was.”
Set-up was straightforward and user-friendly, with no overly technical steps. You do need a smartphone to install the Yoto app in order to operate the player.
What’s the Yoto Player like to use day-to-day?
Mairi and her kids use the Yoto Player every day, especially at bedtime. After they’ve read stories and the children are tucked into bed, they’ll listen to a story, songs or guided meditations while they fall asleep.
“We like to tune into the daily radio, finding out interesting facts about the day or five facts about a particular subject. This week it was dinosaurs and we took the Yoto outside onto the decking to listen while we ate breakfast in the sunshine.”
There aren’t many features that don’t get used. Mairi isn’t a fan of the crackling fire card but her 2-year-old loves it, pretending it's a real fire and learning about fire safety, telling the rest of the family all to be careful not to touch the fire. Sometimes Mairi’s 5-year-old will take it into bed with her and use it as a comforting nightlight.
Are there any drawbacks?
Only a couple of minor niggles - Mairi said the app logs her out frequently, which is a pain. She also sometimes forgets what each dial is for, but the children don't seem to have the same issue.
There’s also the issue of cost - Yoto cards are sold separately (more on these below) as are the rather fetching (and adorably named) adventure jackets that protect the player from any bumps and scrapes.
How about the Yoto cards?
As part of the testing, Mairi joined the Yoto Club which includes 2 new cards a month from a huge selection. At £8-10 per month it works out much cheaper than buying 2 new cards a month. If you’d rather buy the cards as and when, you’ll find a huge range on Amazon.
Mairi says her family really enjoys the range of cards, especially the educational cards. Her 7-year-old loved the 'draw along' card, and the song cards are great for the girls to listen to while they play or tidy their room. The stories are a mixture of familiar classics like the Mog series or Paddington Bear, newer favourites like Paw Patrol, and brand new stories like the Hotel Flamingo series which Mairi’s 5- and 7-year-olds have particularly enjoyed.
Is the Yoto Player good value for money?
At £100, the Yoto Player isn’t cheap. What’s more, new cards retail for between £6-20 so it’s easy to spend that amount over again keeping the player fresh and engaging. Apart from the nightlight, the Yoto Player is functionally very similar to the Yoto Mini, which is just £60.
However, the Yoto Player is very well made and has a higher spec than the Mini, so we think it’s worth the extra money if you’re looking for an educational audio player to use at home, that’ll last your child many years and grow with them.
About Mumsnet Reviews
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust.
About the author
Poppy O'Neill is a Content Editor at Mumsnet and a mother of two. She's been researching and reviewing baby and child products for 2 years, with a particular focus on baby essentials, toys and books for toddlers and outdoor play equipment. From potties to paddling pools and bunk beds to bedtime stories, she loves to deep-dive into research and find the best products out there.
Poppy is also the best-selling children's and parenting author of books such as Don't Worry, Be Happy, The Extraordinary Book That Makes You Feel Happy and Mother Power. She specialises in children's mental health and her books are used by therapists, teachers and SENCOs across the UK. She’s shortlisted for a The Week Junior Children’s Book Award, her books have been translated into eight languages and her writing has featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Sun.
After earning a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Leeds and a PGCert in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism from University of the Arts London, she worked in fashion for most of her 20s. When her children were young, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and re-trained as an author and freelance writer.