Audio to Go? It’s a Yes with Yoto!Published Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Screen free and ready to travel!
As a general rule, the Happy Up crew doesn’t get very excited about tech for kids. We’re going to make an exception for the Yoto Mini!
Here’s why in a nutshell:
- Easy for kids to control, no grown-ups needed after initial setup
- Small and portable (7” x 7” x 1.5”)
- Has an extensive library of content cards available for a huge range of ages
- You can record your own cards
- Exclusive streaming content designed for kids
- Works with 3.5mm AND bluetooth headphones
- Content can be played from the parent app via bluetooth, even if you don’t have the card with you
Yoto recommends the Yoto Mini for kids three and up. There is a lot of content younger tots will enjoy, but they’ll need help using the player itself. We think it really shines for kids between the ages of five and ten years old. Read on for why!
See the Yoto collection on our shopping site here:Yoto Audio System
Yoto Mini First Impressions
When the Yoto Mini arrived, most of the Happy Up Crew started talking about their first MP3 players. A few of us are old enough to remember our first portable cassette players. Whatever the device, all of us were taken back to the thrill of popping on headphones, hitting play, and instantly being in our own surround-sound world.
The Yoto Mini will bring that same thrill to modern kids. Self contained and portable, the Yoto Mini and cards will adapt to your changing and growing kids. Like the company says, the Yoto Mini is “carefully connected”. Watch their video for a full introduction:
Note: The video mentions the larger Yoto Player, not currently in stock.
Taking a Closer Look at Yoto Mini
First off, can we just point out how cute the Yoto Mini player is? It’s chunky in a fun, retro-inspired way. And at 7'' wide and tall, and only 1.5” deep, the Yoto Mini fits comfortably in a child’s hand. But don’t be misled by the size. It is not dainty or delicate.
And the speaker is surprisingly loud for its size!
The knob on the left controls the volume, the knob on the right lets you dial through the tracks on a card. If you press it and are connected to WiFi or a bluetooth hotspot, you can hear Yoto’s daily podcast. Press again and you’re tuning in to a kid-friendly “radio” station!
The pixel display shows a little icon that corresponds to the card AND the track currently playing. We think this is a fun feature, especially for younger listeners. It means kids who aren’t reading on their own yet are able to navigate to the song or story they want to hear.
Fast charging with USB-C, the Yoto Mini’s battery can last up to 20 hours!
Setting Up and the Parent’s App
To set everything up, you need Yoto’s app. It’s a free download from the App Store or Google Play.
Once you set up your account, you’ll pair the cards to your player. When the card is paired, insert the card into the Yoto Mini, and download the content. The next time the card is placed in the Yoto Mini, whether you’re on WiFi or not, the content will play. Neat!
Yoto’s Parent’s App also lets you create playlists and record your own content to blank Make Your Own Cards. You can also invite others to record things, too. So Grandpa can tell stories about when he was a boy. Or the Auntie that lives hours away can read a favorite bedtime story and sing a lullaby. The only limit is your imagination!
The "Welcome" card included with the Yoto Mini can also be re-used as a Make Your Own card.
When you connect to the Yoto Mini via bluetooth, you can play any card in your library, even if the card was left at home.
Parent’s can also set the player to play white noise, helping kiddos drift into dreamland.
Yoto’s Content: Cards and Streaming
This is one of the best things about the Yoto system, and why we really love it for older kids.
The content cards are about the size of a credit card. Their compact size makes them easy to organize and store.
And what’s on the cards? Just about anything you can think of– Including early reader chapter books, classics from children’s literature, and novelizations of familiar movies. Plus there’s music, short story collections, meditation and relaxation, and some non-fiction titles, too!
The sheer size of the Yoto card library means your kids won’t outgrow the listening choices any time soon.
If your player is connected to WiFi, Yoto has a daily podcast for kids you can stream. There’s also a kid-friendly radio station. It’s a mix of music for kids plus groovy tunes grown ups enjoy, too!
Don’t forget an Adventure Jacket!
These silicone covers add a layer of protection and personality to your Yoto Mini!
Check out the collection on our shopping site to see the cards and colors of Adventure Jackets currently in stock.
Here’s what we love about the Yoto Mini:
- The Yoto Mini is designed for kids to manage on their own
- The player feels good and solid in your hand
- The Mini travels well due to a great battery life
- It’s ability to be on WiFi for streaming and to play content via bluetooth gives kids loads of options of what to listen to.
- The size and feel of the cards will appeal to bigger kids because they seem *important* and *grown up*.
- Yoto’s card library is impressive
- Being able to use regular or bluetooth headphones is a total win!