Alexa, babysit the kids
Amazon announced today that they’re trying to bring kids to the Alexa platform. This is going under the same name used for Kindle and Fire Tablets, Amazon FreeTime. Amazon FreeTime allows parents to monitor screen time, set educational goals, and web browsing content from the Amazon Parent Dashboard. With Amazon Echo devices, Parents will be able to control the content available to children using Alexa. Currently, kids can access hours of fun and educational content, ad-free radio stations, premium kid-friendly Alexa skills, and Audible books.
If you’re not familiar with Amazon FreeTime, it has been around a few years on the Kindle and Fire tablets. Amazon even made a Fire Kids Edition Tablet that featured a kid-friendly case and a two-year worry-free warranty. If it breaks, Amazon replaces it for free. Amazon FreeTime on the Fire Tablets was mostly concerned with screen time and content available in the browser. It also gave you a year of FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon’s premium subscription for FreeTime. FreeTime Unlimited gives you access to 15,000 apps, games, books, and videos for kids from content providers like PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, and Disney.
Amazon FreeTime on Alexa
Amazon is bringing the same thing to the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition. It will come with the same two-year worry-free warranty as well as the kid-friendly case. Amazon will also push an update to current Amazon Echo Devices starting in May. The biggest features of the new FreeTime on Alexa are:
- Time Limits – Set time limits for bedtime. Or, simply pause the Alexa device for homework or dinner time.
- Parental Controls – Use the Parent Dashboard and Alexa app to choose what services and skills your kids can use. Also, turn off voice purchasing(This is a must! Kids will buy unlimited Batman toys and dollhouses)
- Block Explicit Songs – During the Alexa experience and during FreeTime, Amazon is adding the ability to block naughty songs from your children or form you. Amazon is currently working with other music providers like Spotify to sure up these as well.
- Activity Review – The Amazon Parent Dashboard allows parents to review their kids’ activity as well as listen to voice recordings of their requests to Alexa.
- Magic Word – “What’s the magic word?” – Something we all heard growing up. Now, Alexa can help with the ‘P’ word. Kids will get positive reinforcement for using ‘Please” or “Pease” depending on your kid.
- Educational Q&A – Kids can ask Alexa questions about science, math, spelling, definitions, or any other topic that piques their curiosity. Alexa is always learning so she will get smarter with every question being asked.
- Alexa Speaks “Kid” – Alexa has age-appropriate recommendations at the ready, all kids have to say is, “Alexa, I’m bored.”
- Household Communications – With the introduction of Alexa Announcements you no longer have to yell through the house that dinner is ready or that it’s bedtime.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is the best of FreeTime with some features that might be worth paying for if your kid enjoys Audiobooks, Stories, and Cartoon Characters. Amazon FreeTime Unlimited features everything above plus:
- Over 300 Audible Books
- Ad-free, Kid-friendly stories and playlists from iHeartRadio
- Premium Alexa Skills from Disney, Nickelodeon, National Geographic’s This or That
- Alarms from their favorite Disney and Nickelodeon Characters
Check out Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Here.
Amazon also has bundles on sale including 2 Echo Dot Kids Edition and Echo Dot + Fire Tablets. Check it out here.
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