Amazon Alexa Echo can be a great boredom buster for kids in this ‘new normal’.
Monsoon and Covid-19 have brought in a ‘new normal’. With schools going digital for the time being, keeping children engaged, entertained and informed all-day is a herculean task. After all, since parks, public places remain closed, all the energy that could otherwise be spent on physical outdoor activities have been brought to an unforeseen halt.
Now parents strive to make sure that their kids get the required physical and mental workout in the safety of their homes. It is a difficult task indeed, given the work-life balance issues faced by parents in the ‘new normal’.
When I heard my daughter asking Alexa, “Alexa, what are Saturn’s rings made up of?” and “Alexa, what are dwarf planets?”, I wondered how I would have reacted had she asked me the same questions. I would have looked up to Google to solve her queries ‘when I would find time to do so’, given my busy schedule. In another instance, my younger one was asking Alexa to tell her a story, was enjoying the action song ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ and dancing the tunes of ‘Lakdi Ki Kathi’. No, don’t get me wrong! Alexa can never replace a mother’s lap, nor the story I tell my kids in an animated way, but it helps me to maintain the interest of my kids in learning and having some fun time, without depending on me.
So I decided to write this post to help parents (to some extent) to maintain their sanity while trying to juggle between work commitments, household chores and kids engagement.
Alexa Echo is available in the following models:
So here are a few features (out of many) of Amazon Alexa Echo Dot to keep kids entertained while catering to their unending need to seek information.
1. Asking questions to Amazon Alexa Echo
Kids love to ask questions, don’t they? And they should, for it can tickle and exercise their brain for good. Imagine having your little one’s bombarding you with questions and you amidst your busy schedule skipping or passing off a few questions because your history, geography, science etc. knowledge has not been updated since a long time. Given the work-life balance difficulties faced by modern parents, its not a guilt factor anymore to not answer some odd 20 questions a day. However, we would not like our little one’s knowledge pangs to diminish due to our disinterest or lack of time.
Try asking Amazon Alexa Echo:
- General knowledge questions for all ages
- Sounds of animals- “Alexa, how does the cat mew?” or “Alexa, bark like a dog.”
- Math questions like “Alexa, Is 257 a perfect square?”
- Smart facts eg. “Alexa, Can you tell me some smart facts?”
- Latest news and facts – “Alexa, what is my flash briefing?” and much more.
2.Physical activity and workout
Amazon Alexa is equipped with many skills. You can select the skills from the Amazon Alexa App. One of our most favourite activity to do with Alexa is workout and fun exercises.
- “Alexa, play animal workout.” It’s a fun exercise for kids. They can be creative with their workout while maintaining their physical fitness.
- Do planks with ‘Alexa, ask five-minute planks to start.”
- Quick workout, Push up workout and much more
3.How about a brain workout?
Amazon Alexa Echo is not just about games and fun. It can get your kids an essential brain workout too. Math”, language, GK quizzes along with true or false, tables quiz, riddles, memory games, word games are some of the Alexa skills every parent will love.
Try some skills like these:
- “Alexa, open math/science/GK quiz.”
- “Alexa, ask Indian quiz to ask me about my country.”
- “Alexa, open currency quiz.”
- “Alexa, open word game.”
4.Sing and dance to your favourite tunes
No need to search through scores of songs on a pen drive or wait for your latest favourite to arrive on your virtual playlists. To use Alexa, just say the name of the song (any genre) and Alexa serves it on a platter without any fuss. From nursery rhymes to the latest peppy hits, get it all on Amazon Alexa Echo.
- “Alexa, open baby songs/nursery rhymes/lullaby/instrumental music.”
- Sing along with Karaoke music. Try saying “Alexa, ask Kids Karaoke”.
- A variety of music playlists are available. You can skim through them and select your favourite.
5. Storytime with Amazon Alexa Echo
Audio stories help to develop listening skills and vocabulary. Amazon Alexa Echo is the ultimate ‘go-to’ for bedtime stories, fairy tales, favourite character stories for kids and adventure stories.
- “Alexa, play bedtime stories.”
- ” Alexa, launch story world.”
- “Alexa, open interactive/adventure stories.”
- Lego stories, stories in multiple languages, top stories, short stories, campfire stories etc
6. News, Weather updates and current affairs
You can set “Alexa, start my day” so that you can find out the weather conditions and forecast, day, date, time, news for the day, facts for the day in the morning. The Alexa app allows you to set preferences to start your day and the sequence of information required. This helps you to get daily updates without having to give multiple Alexa commands every day.
- “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing?”
- “Alexa, hows the weather today?”
- “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing?”
- “Alexa, start my day.” ( Preset it from the app)
7. Other fun features of Amazon Alexa Echo
Alexa can remind you to do certain tasks every day at a specific time. Your child’s daily timetable can now be up on Alexa. With this feature, study, playtime, music practice, reading time etc. can be set if required to provide an electronic time table for daily use.
Appreciate your child little achievements by asking Alexa to give a round of applause and see your kids glow with pride. Positive reinforcement works wonders in motivating kids to work on their newly learnt skills.
“Alexa, make me laugh.”
This Alexa feature can tickle your funny bones and make you laugh with funny laughter sound.
There are many more skills and features that Alexa provides for the whole family, including, shopping lists, smart devices and much more. You can easily find those skills on the Alexa app.
Alexa can be one of the many ways to keep kids engaged in a productive way. However, it is not a substitute for quality time spent by parents with kids for their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. It is definitely a boredom buster.
PS. The Amazon Freedom Sale (8th and 11th August 2020) gives Amazon Alexa Echo at 50 % off. Better buy now than later at full price.