Kids today are especially advanced when it comes to all things digital. I mean, my 6-year old could pretty much show me how to recalibrate my phone, if I asked her to. (No, I don’t think that re-calibrating a phone is a thing. But I’ll check with my 6-year old, just to be sure.) I get it though: we would LOVE to have our kids playing outside, you know, just climbing trees and making mud pies and scraping knees etc (all the stuff that our childhood was made out of) but the truth is that kids today will always be drawn to technology. Whether we like it or not.
And that is why I was really interested to learn more about the Yoto Player, when I heard that it recently launched in South Africa. Yoto is a screen-free audio and music player for kids, that encourages them to use their imagination. The Yoto Player acts as a Bluetooth speaker box. It is, essentially, an audio book player, with the books being cards that you can purchase and collect. The “book card” (as I like to call it) is inserted into the player giving the child full control over their listening experience.
I love this concept for numerous reasons. I’ll list mine below:
1. My children are a lot more captivated by the stories being told via the Yoto Player. I mean, they do enjoy reading but are easily bored.
2. Because its screen free, I love that they get to practice those imagination skills, painting a picture mentally while they are listening to the story.
3. It doesn’t take away the joy of using technology for fun. The Yoto Player app (oh yes, there is a phone app as well) also gives your child access to an abundance of entertaining content, which encourages imaginative play.
The Yoto smartphone app is so cool, you guys. It gives me access to the Yoto Player (you can control settings and content) as long as I am in close proximity to the device. There is a variety of free content available via the app (songs, audio games, more story books etc) and it even connects with Bluetooth speakers! How cool?! This is actually so perfect for those long road trips!
You can purchase and collect content cards (book cards), just like how you would build a library of books. But you can also load these books onto your app, to make it that much easier to play the content, when you’re on the go. Simply tap the the card to the back of your smartphone. Easy peasy. You are then able to manage your book library via the app. I love this!
Oh and guess what – you are able to purchase blank cards, which you can use to load your own content to! I mean, I can think of a bunch of things to do with these, like:
1. Record your own voice, telling your kids favorite bed time stories. How comforting that will be for your little one to hear mom/dad’s voice at night, while settling into bed.
2. Get your children to sing specials songs and record them on the cards as a cool memory album.
3. Put together a compilation of songs, which can also be added to the blank cards.
Yoto Player was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2020 – that’s legit. Yoto Player is available for purchase at a recommended retail price of R2499. The Yoto smartphone app is available to download for free on iOS or Android. The Yoto Player is now available across the country at selected Toys R Us stores, iStores and a branded store on Takealot, South Africa’s leading online store.
I have a Yoto Player giveaway running on my Instagram right now (it ends on Monday 25th!) so follow this link to enter!