As parents, there is a lot of pressure on us to do it all. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, that expectations vs. reality graph doesn’t exactly measure up.
If you’re nodding in agreement, the Echo Dot Kid’s Edition may help make parenting easier. Yup. I know it may seem strange. But, hear me out.
The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition can help reinforce rules and routines you as a parent have established. From helping your kids get up in the morning to helping them with homework problems and more, the Echo Dot Kids Edition can be a game changer in your home.
Selling at $69.99, it costs $20 dollars more than the Amazon Echo Dot. What sets it apart are its kid friendly cases— in blue, green and red —and 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which includes kid-focused Audible audiobooks, ad-free radio stations, interactive Disney Stories, and games. If you’ve owned an Amazon Echo, you know that the FreeTime Unlimited subscription starts at $2.99 per month to get access to the FreeTime Unlimited perks, but the Amazon Echo Kids Edition includes 1 year of the FreeTime Unlimited subscription.
And, if you already own the Amazon Echo, you may be wondering if you should add the Echo Dot Kids Edition to your home. Honestly, I’ve personally found that the device is well worth it — not to mention the many Alexa skills that help make parenting a little bit easier. Here are 16 reasons you should consider making the switch for your family.
This post is sponsored by Amazon Echo.
Teach Kids Manners with Magic Word
The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition has a built-in feature called Magic Word that gives positive reinforcement to your children for saying “please.” For example, if your child says, “Alexa, please play, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” she will respond by saying, “Playing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. By the way, thanks for asking so nicely.”
Limit What Content Is Accessible to Kids
The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a Parent Dashboard that you can access online to monitor what content your kids are using and for how long.
Wake Kids Up in the Morning
The Echo Dot Kids Edition also lets you set up “Character Alarms” as part of the FreeTime Unlimited subscription – meaning, with Alexa’s help they can wake up with an alarm clock featuring characters from brands like Disney and Nickelodeon.
Make Brushing Their Teeth Fun
Chompers is an Alexa skill that helps your kids brush their teeth whether it’s in the morning or at night. All you have to say is, “Alexa, start Chompers.” Your children will then hear jokes, cool facts and songs that help reinforce brushing their teeth so you don’t have to.
Settle Sibling Arguments
Kids Court is an Alexa skill that can help you resolve an issue or conflict. Maybe you bought a basketball and your children are having trouble sharing it. Now you don’t have to listen to endless bickering. Just say “Alexa, start Kids Court.” You can send your kids to Kids Court and let Judge Lexy decide how to take turns with the ball.
Make Bedtime More Magical
When your kids are tucked into bed and ready for their nightly story, you can ask Alexa for a bedtime story for you all to listen to by prompting, “Alexa, tell me a bedtime story.”
Set Routines for Kids to Follow
Rather than giving Alexa multiple commands at a time, you’ll soon be able to set up a sequence of commands that Alexa goes through with a single voice prompt. This can help you streamline your child’s morning, daytime, after-school or even bedtime routines.
By setting up a custom routine and saying, “Alexa, it’s time for bed,” you can set off a series of actions that include dimming the lights, turning on a night light, and playing a bedtime playlist. You say less and Alexa does more.
This feature will roll out December 2018.
Help Kids with Homework
This can be as simple as asking Alexa, “How do you spell, … ” or it can be a bit more complex question such as figuring out a long division problem or how to translate a word or phrase.
Let’s face it. Sometimes we are not the best at helping our kids, especially when we consider just how long ago we were learning algebra ourselves. But math is one of those subjects that is important both in school and in the real world.The Alexa skill, Amazon Math can provide help with numerous questions in the easy, medium and hard difficulty settings. Amazon Math is an awesome tool if your kids need a quick math lesson.
Let Kids Listen to Audiobooks
With the FreeTime Unlimited subscription, you’ll have access to a library of over 1,000 Audible audiobooks that can help foster your children’s love of reading.
Have a Sing-Along
Flex your vocal chords with Disney Sing Along, available with a FreeTime Unlimited subscription. Kids can practice the lyrics to their favorite songs (or learn new ones!) with learn-the-song-mode. Once they’re well-versed, they can sing it together with Goofy, Mickey or Minnie. New songs are added monthly.
Have Fun with Kid-Friendly Questions and Answers
With the Echo Dot Kids Edition, Alexa will answer questions with kid-friendly responses. Simply asking Alexa questions such as, “Alexa, what is a black hole?” or “Alexa, what is the biggest volcano?” can lead your kids to more inquiry, which is great practice for real conversations with peers and adults.
Check on Kids in Other Rooms with the Drop In Feature
Drop In is an optional feature you enable that helps you instantly connect with supported Echo devices in your home. For example, if your child is doing his or her homework in their bedroom, and you are cooking downstairs but want to check up on their progress you can say, “Drop in on [name of your child’s echo device],” and “How’s your homework going?” . Your child will hear you on their Echo Dot Kids Edition and you will hear their response on your Echo device. Think of the Drop In feature as a two-way intercom.
In order to use Drop In, parents must enable the feature first.
Help Your Children Learn More About Other Countries
The Travel Quest skill, available with a FreeTime Unlimited subscription, is an adventure-style travel exploration game that allows curious kids to “explore” different countries and discover their unique cultures. Kids can learn about everything from cuisine, geography and landmarks to leaders, events and festivals for an ever-expanding list of countries that currently includes Japan, Canada, France and Brazil.
Allow Kids to Call Parent-Approved Contacts
With the Echo Dot Kids Edition, parents can approve contacts so their child can call family-approved contacts. After parents approve the contacts, to make a call from an Echo Dot Kids Edition, your kids can just ask Alexa to call an approved contact either by saying their name or by saying the phone number. Just make sure you program phone numbers beforehand on the About Alexa Calling and Messaging setting otherwise this calling feature will not work.
Create Daily Educational Goals
Once you’ve set educational goals for your child on their Echo Dot Kids Edition-supported tablet, you can use the Echo Dot Kids Edition to set daily time limits. You can lock the device for a specific amount of time before it will unlock again. Now you won’t have to constantly tell them it’s time to turn it off or read a book instead of playing an hour of games.
Allow Content Sharing Between Family Members
With the Echo Dot Kids Edition you can control where your children can access shared content. For instance, if you have audiobooks or music you want to allow your children to listen to on their Alexa device, you can do so without sharing your entire library. To do this from the online Parent Dashboard, select “Add Content” then tap the item you want to share and from the options you will be able to share it to your child’s FreeTime profile.
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