We bought a Yoto Player* for our daughter for Christmas as we wanted to reduce screen time and encourage her love of reading. My older daughter used to listen to story CD’s and this is an even better version of that as some stories are a few hours long. The range of stories available is vast. From classic stories to modern Disney films. I can thoroughly recommend it but read on if you want to know why.
Yoto Player Features
Whilst I said we wanted to reduce screen time the Yoto player actually has a small screen that can show the weather and the time as well as small pixelated representations of the story it is playing. It is rechargeable and can be taken in the car. It connects to the internet to enable it to be controlled by the app. Your child has no need of the app if you want to use it in offline mode. If you just wanted to use the cards you don’t need the internet after the initial set up.
Each story comes loaded onto credit card sized cards that for young children used to apps are nicely tangible. Easy to store and use, these are pretty tough and safe for children to handle.
Yoto Added Value
The Yoto player has a great range of curated, child friendly podcasts that are suitable from 3-8 year olds. These are updates frequently and feature some popular characters including CBBC and more.
Record You Own Story
This is brilliant for those parents who may be there to read their child a story every night. Use the app on your phone and send the recording to the card in the Yoto player. You could even use one of my Sensory Stories!
One of the features of the Yoto Player I didn’t expect was the sleep sounds function. This has options for White, Pink, and Brown noises as well as weather sounds etc. This is brilliant as a dedicated noise machine with good sound quality is not cheap.
The last feature I want to talk about is the available Phonics cards* and sounds set. This is great for reinforcing what is being taught at school.
The pack includes 7 cards with exercises which will play at random to keep your child’s ears and mind engaged. Also included is a guide to Phonics with imagery to assist with some of the exercises.
- What’s That Sound? – This card develops your child’s environmental awareness and listening skills by having them distinguish between sounds from daily life – from a dog barking to the sound of a lawnmower.
- What’s That Instrument? – This card asks your child to identify the different sounds instruments make.
- Body Beats – This card develops your child’s ability to copy sounds and rhythms. Identifying and copying patterns is key to kids’ social and intellectual development.
- Rhythm & Rhyme – This card helps your child recognise that some words rhyme and encourage them to find pairs of rhyming words.
- Tongue Testers – This card introduces your child to alliteration.
- Make That Sound – This card encourages children to use their mouths to make fun sounds. Making different vocal sounds develops children’s pronunciation confidence and awareness of the many sounds that make up speech.
- Make That Word – This card introduces your child to blending and segmenting. This is the final step before entering the more formal aspects of learning to read.
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