We started our Yoto journey with the Yoto Player a couple of years ago. Tayen has multiple brain tumours, is fully blind and has complex medical needs so I did a lot of research surrounding items on the market that would make life a little more enjoyable for her. The Yoto Player seemed to tick all of the boxes and I also loved the idea of the daily podcast, kids radio options and being able to put my own audio onto cards. It didn’t disappoint! Within hours, Tayen had mastered what each button did and rediscovered her love of stories. When news of the Yoto Mini came out, it was a no brainer! We knew Tayen would benefit hugely from a smaller, portable version. The Yoto Player now stays in her bedroom supporting her nighttime routine and the Yoto Mini is always with Tayen whether at home, in the hospital or out in the community.
The Yoto Mini was such a hit that we quickly purchased another. They are now used on rotation so Tayen is never without access to one. It’s used almost constantly. We now have an extensive collection of Yoto cards and Make Your Own cards. The cards are used to increase her independence and as a distraction when Tayen is overwhelmed. We’ve also integrated her Yoto Player into her pain management plan. If Tayen is out of the house or in hospital then so is her Yoto Mini! More recently, I managed to get my hands on the new Yoto Daily Draw-Along card. A precious moment developed when I suddenly realised that Tayen and I were simply enjoying an activity together. I wasn’t her carer, managing her medical needs, trying to make it accessible or helping her in anyway and it’s something I’ll treasure forever. Tayen has memory difficulties now too, so after explaining to School just how useful Yoto could be in recording her voice and supporting her learning they are now sourcing funding to purchase one for her there. Tayen’s future is uncertain but Yoto has given her (and us) so much and her players and cards are the best purchase I’ve ever made for her.
In a nutshell, it's been life changing! That might sound over the top but it's true. Prior to finding out about the Yoto Player, going anywhere was a bit of a nightmare. My son is autistic and he loves to be mentally challenged and stimulated so going to shops or the supermarket was stressful. Now whenever we go anywhere, he brings his Yoto Mini, a selection of cards and his headphones and he's a happy little dude.
Prior to the Yoto, he didn't have much screen time at home but now he hardly ever has screen time because he would rather listen to something on his Yoto Player. He loves listening to Yoto Daily, music, yoga, stories and educational content. I love the variety of cards and the podcasts because his happy place is being mentally stimulated and challenged. Since listening to the different options, he's learned so much. He's in year 1 at school and he's learning things before he learns them at school and he loves that.
My little dude used to have speech and language issues but listening to the Yoto has really helped his vocabulary and it's also helped him understand humour. He hears Jake's jokes and he tries to make up his own or he tries to repeat Jake's jokes. My son struggles to understand a lot of humour because he's extremely literal but since listening to the jokes from Jake, it's been lovely to see him trying to understand them.
More recently, we've started using the Yoto Player at bedtime. He responds best to rules and visual cues. He goes to bed and he starts by listening to one of the bedtime podcasts - the current one is Koko Sleep. I have the Yoto set to switch to night time mode with the red light turning on to signal night time. Once he's finished listening to an episode, he listens to the sleep radio for 5-10 minutes. This new routine works well for him.
I can't recommend Yoto enough, I only wish I had come across it sooner and I recommend it to everyone that mentions to me that they have children.