Family Friendly Skills
Sure, the Amazon Echo is great for looking things up on the internet or playing music, but it can also be a valuable tool for helping kids learn or stay entertained, all done with just the power of your voice.
We've tested a large selection of family-friendly Alexa skills to find the ones your kids will love the most. Here are 16 Alexa skills that will appeal to the children (or even the adults) in your household.
Credit: Shutterstock; Amazon
Brushing your teeth doesn't have to be a chore. Chompers walks your kids through the correct brushing technique while keeping them entertained. Alexa will tell jokes, teach your kids about tooth bacteria and play fun music while your young ones brush, with separate routines customized for morning and night brushing.
Meeximo LLC Tongue Twister
Remember those tongue twisters you loved stumbling over as a kid? Now, your kids can ask Meeximo LLC Tongue Twister for one of those challenges. Trying to say "stupid superstition," or "a proper copper coffee pot" five times fast will be tons of fun, and it will help your kids practice their diction.
Bye Bye Cavities
Bye Bye Cavitiesturns your kid's toothbrush routine into a quest to defeat the evil "Cavity Family" once and for all. As your kids brush, members of the Cavity Family will boast (humorously) about their dastardly aspects — but the longer the brushing, the more of the bad guys get flushed away.
If you just can't get your baby to sleep, Alexa can help. Baby Lullaby plays a beautiful, soothing, and very catchy tune that's sure to lull your tot into a peaceful slumber. It may even put you to sleep!
The classic kids' show is now on the Amazon Echo with the Sesame Street skill, aimed at preschoolers. Children can interact with fan-favorite character Elmo, learning about the letter of the day and playing hide-and-go-seek, complete with silly sound effects. Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty
The SpongeBob Challenge
Fans of the under-the-sea cartoon characters will enjoy this chance to interact with their favorite Spongebob characters in the SpongeBob Challenge. You'll fill orders for the hungry customers of the Krusty Krab, but the tasks become trickier as you go along, so pay attention! After every shift, you'll get your score and see how you did.Credit: Nickelodeon
It's only natural that Amazon would combine its affinity for books with the Echo, and the result is Amazon Storytime, which offers a selection of short stories for kids ages 5-12. Kids (or adults) can ask Alexa to tell them a story, pulled from Amazon's Rapids collection and a selection of Audible short stories.
Have a kid who just loves space? NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers NASA Mars, which lets you ask Alexa questions about Mars, such as "How big is it?" or "Why is it red?" The skill also provides weekly updates from NASA about the rovers roaming the surface of the Red Planet. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
Word of the Day
Building vocabulary is an integral part of education, and Alexa can help kids learn a new term every day with the Word of the Day skill. It integrates with the Flash Briefing to provide you a new word every day, including the definition and how to use the word in a sentence, with more than a little humor thrown into the mix.
Alexa can help your kids enhance their math prowess with 1-2-3 Math. It tests basic arithmetic using timed questions, offering three difficulty levels so kids can take it easy or challenge themselves. There's even a scoring feature to introduce a competitive element.
This Day In History
Don't end up doomed to repeat history; try the History Channel's This Day in History. You can ask Alexa about the most prominent event on the particular day you're asking, or on any day you like. If you want to dig deeper, the skill will also tell you about other events from the day.
Older kids might enjoy testing their knowledge with Jeopardy!, which lets you try your hand at questions from the game show that don't make it to air. On the Echo Show and Echo Spot, you'll even see the question written on the familiar blue background. Just remember to answer in the form of a question.
Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty
What kid doesn't love learning about animals? With Animal Game, Alexa will ask you to think of an animal, and then pose a series of questions to try and figure out exactly which animal you have in mind — but you'd better know your animal well enough to answer!
The Magic Door
Older children might enjoy these choose-your-own-adventure-style stories in The Magic Door, in which you interact with Alexa to find your way through a variety of fantastical settings, figure out tricky riddles and meet characters along the way. There are 11 different adventures to explore, and the scenarios present an opportunity for the whole family to work together.
Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty
See and Say
This skill, based on the Fischer Price See n' Say toy—where you pull a string and a large arrow spins around, will play one of 34 animal sounds when you ask Alexa to launch See and Say. A companion app provides more than 280 facts about the animals, along with photos of each.
Start Silly Things, and Alexa will ask you to act out something silly. Examples include "Act like a fish out of water", "Act like you just ate a really sour lemon", and "Do your most silly dance."
Tickle Monster Game
Who doesn't love a good round of tickling? Using the Alexa app, you first set up a list of participants, then launch the Tickle Monster Game.
What kid doesn't love dinosaurs? Daily Dinosaur will teach your children about these extinct creatures, randomly selecting one and providing a brief description. It should keep your kid entertained for a while: There are more than 1,000 dinos in its database.
Highlights for Children has created its own skill, which has an assortment of family-friendly stories, poems, brainteasers, jokes, and Goofus and Gallant.
Credit: Highlights For Children
What kid doesn't like a bit of scatological humor? Poop Poems takes traditional nursery rhymes and poems, and adds a little twist to each. Your child will be howling with laughter.