Now available in Ireland, the Amazon Echo range of smart speakers have some new skills designed for children that combine learning in a fun way, bringing iconic brands to Alexa alongside some of the current favourite characters — Lego Duplo Stories: This skill provides an interactive storytelling experience that combines physical play with Alexa.
Along with their parents, toddlers can choose between ten Lego Duplo Stories themes — five vehicle or five animal stories — and define the route of the story, while guided by Alexa. To play along, just say: “Alexa, start Lego Duplo Stories.”
RTÉJr: Tune in to RTÉJr on Alexa to jump into a world of magic and wonder where your little ones can listen to all their favourite RTÉjr Radio shows in one place such as drama, music and song with Happy Days, CAKE, The Weekend Club and Early Birds! Just ask Alexa to “Open RTÉ Junior”.
Pac-Man Stories: This skill, developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe, is designed to provide a fun and educational ‘choose your own adventure’ experience in which customers of all ages have to make the right moral choices to complete each adventure set on Pac-Man Planet.
They can engage with Pac-Man and a cast of new characters, plus well-known favourites, including the famous ghosts Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde in several fully interactive stories. If you are ready to team up with PAC-MAN just say: “Alexa, launch PAC-MAN Stories.”
Moshi Twilight: Made for kids and loved by parents, Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories help settle little listeners at bedtime.
Featuring surreal stories with dreamy melodies and calming narration, guided relaxations and soothing sounds, all with a magical Moshi twist, Moshi Twilight is developed by the creators of much-loved global phenomenon Moshi Monsters. To make bedtime a dream, just say: “Alexa, open Moshi Twilight.”
Beano: The iconic kids’ brand has entered its 80th year, and it’s now coming to Alexa. Customers can play the ultimate True and False quiz, full of sound effects and tricky trivia; and LoL to the best of Beano jokes. Just say: “Alexa, open Beano.”
Amazon Storytime: This skill offers a growing collection of professionally narrated short stories for kids aged five to 12.
The collection has stories read by Aidy Bryant (star of Saturday Night Live) and Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob SquarePants) from the Amazon Rapids library, and will soon be joined by additional audible short stories. Just say: “Alexa, read me a bedtime story.
Other skills including Sesame Street, Panda Rescue, Would You Rather Family, and Fun Kids Radio will also be available. Parents and families can discover kid skills via the Alexa app, at amazon.co.uk/alexaskills, or just by asking “Alexa, what are your kid skills?”
The ability to use kid skills also needs to be switched on by the main account holder, so the first time you enable a kid skill, Alexa will prompt you to turn on access to kid skills via your Alexa app. This will extend to all kid skills, so you’ll only need to do it once.
Parents can also turn off all kid skills at any time through their Alexa app. When turned off, kid skills cannot be used on a parent’s Alexa account.
The new Alexa Announcements feature works like an intercom system for your home. Tell Alexa, announce, “dinner is ready,” and she’ll record your voice and then broadcast it to all of the other Alexas in your home.
You can also say “Alexa announce” or “Alexa broadcast” followed by what you want to say. This will work even if you only have one Echo speaker, by using your Alexa app on an Android smartphone, provided it’s tied to the same account as your speaker.
The more Echo speakers you have the more effective the announcements feature is and at €45 a pop for an Echo Dot, it’s not expensive to build a system over time.