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If you have an Amazon Echo in your household, chances are, your child enjoys the benefits as much as you do. I know our kids do! We have a son who uses the Echo Show to watch kids’ videos every night before bed and a daughter who dances her heart out to Alexa song requests quite often.
Among the biggest challenges when it comes to house-bound children is channeling all that sugar-charged energy into something useful. Deployed responsibly in your household, Alexa can not only keep the kids out of your hair for a few minutes but also have a positive effect on how they spend their free time.
In this article, we’re going to talk safety, parental controls and the best Alexa-powered Amazon Echos for kids.
|Top Top||Introducing Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Kids | Designed for kids, with parental controls | Chameleon||Prime||View On Amazon|
|Top||Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids | Designed for kids, with parental controls | Tiger||Prime||View On Amazon|
|Top||Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids | Designed for kids, with parental controls | Panda||Prime||View On Amazon|
Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kid’s Edition
🏅 Runner Up – Best Alexa For Kids (Found Here On Amazon)
- Refreshingly low-tech installation and usage
- LED display tracks cumulative water usage temperature and volume in real-time
- Users can read their shower setting at a glance
- Users may complain that it doesn’t have enough features to qualify as a smart home device
- No batteries or power supply needed
- Works with systems with a water pressure of 14.5 to 80 p.s.i
- LED eye display and color indicator
- No apps or wires needed to run
The 4th-Generation Echo Dot Kids is designed… well you guessed it… with children in mind! There are two fun design choices, one being a Tiger and the other a Panda.
In terms of hardware, you can expect the same features and technology that the standard Echo Dot has (4th Gen). As far as software goes, you’ll also get a free 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids +.
Amazon Kids+ allows for both endless entertainment and parental controls for you. This will enable you to filter age-appropriate content, set time limits and much more.
The Kids Edition has a very similar setup process to the standard Echo Dot. All you need to do is plug in the speaker and wait till the halo LED indicator (now on the bottom with the Gen 4) turns orange. Next, you can use your Alexa mobile app to find a Wi-Fi connection.
🏆 Editor’s Choice – Best Alexa For Kids (Found Here On Amazon)
- Also comes with 1 year subscription to Amazon Kids +
- Seamless touchscreen response
- Adds the ability to watch movies and make video calls to approved contacts
- There have been several reports of the devicing freezing up
- Can only use drop-in feature within same household
- Cool “Chameleon” design
- Access video content from Disney, Nickelodean, Marvel, Cartoon Network and more.
- 2-year guarantee
This is the hit with the little ones in our house. The Amazon Echo Show 5 Kids’ edition is a compact smart display that’s a welcome distraction
The Show offers all of the same features as the Echo Dot, but with the addition of a touchscreen and front-facing camera. These 2 add-ons allow for substantially more possibilities. (My little co-writer just reminded me that watching Bluey and SpongeBob SquarePants are among those mentioned possibilities).
“Alexa, open Amazon Kids!”
Again, one of the most notable selling points is the 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids. There is a ton of content and much of it can assist in early childhood learning activities.
One aspect that comes in handy for our household is the Drop-In feature. In other words, we can use it as a kind of video intercom by saying (in our case) “Alexa, drop-in on Gavin’s room”. We can also use it to check on them at night time.
If you’re worried about privacy and security, there are plenty of safeguards. This will leave you to decide which restrictions you’d like to implement. You can also manually turn off the camera and microphone anytime you like.
Lastly, like the Echo Dot Kids, the Show Kids also comes with a 2-year guarantee – just in case your child decides to get a little clumsy.
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While this isn’t a smart speaker, it’s a really fun accessory item to add to either the Echo Dot Kids or the Echo Show Kids. The Echo Glow is a multi-colored smart lamp that can be voice-controlled using Alexa.
This touch-sensitive, globe-shaped device features over a dozen lighting modes and colors, as well as ‘rainbow’ and wake-up timers. Once it has been paired with your Echo smart speaker, the Echo Glow will respond to a variety of Alexa commands.
Our daughter likes to turn out the lights and use the dance party feature. Both of our youngest have also gotten rid of their traditional nightlights in favor of the echo Glow as well.
Recommended Reading: Alexa Baby Monitor – 8 Easy Ways To Monitor Your Munchkin
Amazon has a host of parental control options available for Alexa. In addition, all of these Amazon Kid’s Edition products have been designed to immediately prompt you to set up Amazon Kids+, which has enhanced protections.
Again, just understand that you can manually turn off the microphone and/or camera instantly on any Echo device. There is an explicit lyric filter within the device settings as well for Alexa devices. You should also go into account settings and be sure to remove voice purchase capabilities.
The parental controls in Amazon Kids+ make it super easy for parents to schedule time limits for various activities such as playing videos so they don’t put off their bedtimes. Parents will also have the option to grant their children access to very specific music and Alexa skills. What’s more, children will only be able to make video calls to friends that are approved by their parents.
If all else fails, parents can easily review their children’s activities by accessing the device’s Parent Dashboard. A great resource for better understanding parental controls can be found here.
Amazon has done a great job of adapting their Alexa devices to feature kid-friendly features. Based on how popular these devices have become in smart homes, it’s inevitable that our kids will eventually take an interest in them.
The devices we have reviewed in this post are great news for parents who want their kids to benefit from such technologies and are worried about all the things that could possibly go wrong. Building a system that handles children differently is crucial for their development, privacy, and safety.
If nothing for the video capabilities alone, we’ve picked the Echo Show Kid’s edition as the best Alexa device for kids. I did however think it prudent to ask our children which one they like better, and it was a unanimous decision.
It’s encouraging to see that Amazon took steps to teach Alexa to be more responsible with your children. Now, the only thing you are responsible for is implementing it to suit your family!