Published on September 21st, 2022 | by Andrew Bistak
Introducing Amazon Kids on Alexa — An All-New Experience Purposefully Built for Kids
Amazon today announces an all-new Alexa experience for families in Australia and New Zealand. Amazon Kids on Alexa, available on Echo smart speakers and Echo Show devices, has been designed to help kids learn, play and grow, while being entertained at home. The experience will allow kids 12 years and under to discover fun, child-directed content with Alexa – from sing-alongs with Amazon Music, to playing games, and telling jokes – while ensuring parents can fully manage and control the experience.
“While Alexa’s been keeping Aussie homes organised, entertained and connected, the youngest members of the household have increasingly become curious and interested in engaging with Alexa in their own way,” said Kate Gooden, Head of Product, Amazon Alexa ANZ. “We’re excited to launch Amazon Kids on Alexa in Australia, joining the 20 million kids and parents around the world who are already using the service. We can now provide Mums and Dads peace of mind in knowing that their kids are getting child-directed content, and new kid skills in an environment that parents can easily manage via our Parent Dashboard tools.”
Amazon Kids on Alexa
• Designed just for parents and kids, Amazon Kids on Alexa brings child-friendly Alexa features, content, settings and parental controls to Amazon Echo smart speakers or Echo Show devices, including:
• Block Songs with Explicit Lyrics: Automatically filter songs with explicit lyrics from Amazon Music, Apple Music or Spotify — so children can discover new songs or listen to their favourite tunes.
• Time Limits: Set bedtime and time limits to prevent kids interacting with Alexa late into the night, or simply pause Echo devices for dinner or homework time.
• Add or Remove Services and Content: Use the Parent Dashboard and Alexa app to choose which services and skills kids can use. Voice purchasing is blocked by design.
• Household Communication: Amazon Kids on Alexa also allows for household announcements, calling, messaging, and Drop In within the home – no more shouting through the house that dinner is ready.
• Activity Review: The Parent Dashboard also allows parents to see their kid’s Alexa activity, plus review their voice recordings in the Alexa app.
Kids can also ask Alexa questions about their favourite school subjects like science, maths, or geography or request guidance on spelling or word definitions while they’re working through homework. Since Alexa is built in the cloud and always getting smarter, it continues to learn every day. With Amazon Kids on Alexa, kids can also enjoy fun experiences from ABC Kids, Kinderling Kids, Nickelodeon, and more.
• “Alexa, play Kinderling Kids Radio”: a 24/7 radio station for kids, with fun and educational music, facts, jokes and imagination. You can also try “Alexa, play Kinderling Kids Sleep” for soothing, ambient tunes for bedtime, and “Alexa, play Kinderling Kids Party” to turn up the fun.
• “Alexa, play ABC Kids listen”: a 24/7 radio station for kids and their grown-ups, designed to mirror the ebb and flow of a child’s day for playful days and peaceful nights.
• “Alexa, open Bedtime Explorers”: imaginative, meditative journeys for children, teaching them easy-to-learn meditation techniques that they can use to fall asleep, or just relax.
• “Alexa, open Blue’s Clues”: kids will use their imagination and practice listening and critical thinking as they help Josh figure out Blue’s clues across ten different storylines.
• “Alexa, open Stolen Stars of Matariki”: a bilingual (English and Māori) illustrated story with engaging voice recordings, sound effects, music and illustrations.
• “Alexa, open Chompers”: a twice-daily tooth brushing show with jokes, riddles, stories and silly songs to keep kids brushing — and giggling — for the two minutes that dentists recommend.
Set Up Options for Shared Echo Devices
Parents can use the Alexa app to activate Amazon Kids and set up a Child Profile with the following options:
1. Set up a dedicated device in Kids’ Mode: If you plan to set up an Echo device in a dedicated kid’s space like a playroom or bedroom, you can turn on Amazon Kids for that device through the Alexa app. This means that device will provide only the Amazon Kids experience to anyone who uses it.
2. Set up Child Voice ID and/or Visual ID so Alexa recognises your child on shared devices: With dynamic profile switching, your child can receive their Amazon Kids experience on a supported Echo device when Alexa recognises their voice or face, even if you have not turned on Amazon Kids for that device. Following a simple enrolment process either on the Alexa app or via ‘Settings’ on a compatible Echo device, you can help your child create a Voice ID and/or Visual ID so Alexa can call your child by their name and personalise their experience. This means parents can have peace of mind that child-friendly content, features and settings are in place when kids interact with Alexa in the home. When parents with a registered Voice ID or Visual ID talk to or are recognised by Alexa, the device will switch to the parent’s profile, reflecting their personalised settings and access to general Alexa responses, skills and content experiences.
Transparency and Control Over your Child’s Alexa Experience
Amazon has a longstanding commitment to preserving and building trust with customers and their families. As with all Amazon devices and services, Amazon Kids on Alexa is designed with privacy and security in mind. The Parent Dashboard allows parents to choose which services and skills kids can use, and review their child’s activity.
Parents and their children will always know when Alexa is listening to a request because a blue light indicator will appear on the Echo device. Parents can mute the microphones on the device with one press of a button, and most Echo Show devices also come with a built-in shutter to cover the camera. Parents can go into the Alexa app at any time to check their privacy settings and make adjustments as needed. Parents have access to all voice recordings and can choose not to have voice recordings saved or delete them at any time. To learn more about the features providing transparency and control over your Alexa experience, visit the Alexa Privacy Hub or the Amazon Children’s Privacy Notice.
‘Alexa, Open Amazon Kids’
Amazon Kids on Alexa will be available for Australian and New Zealand customers to enable via the latest version of the Alexa app on compatible Echo devices, through a software update on September 22, 2022. Learn more about Amazon Kids on Alexa here.