“Alexa, help me understand this!”

Posted: December 21, 2018 | Safer Schools ? No Comments

echo dot zoomed up

Hands up if Santa brought an Alexa to your home this Christmas ✋

We are here to help you and your family get the most out of your Alexa; safety settings, funny questions to ask and the best age-appropriate apps the entire family can enjoy.

What do I need?
– An Amazon Device with Alexa
– An Amazon Account

Which restrictions can I apply?
– Ability to use certain apps
– In-app purchases
– Access to Inappropriate content

Setting Up Your Alexa Device ⚙️

Create an age appropriate account for your child.
This restricts a child’s access to inappropriate apps and inappropriate content through voice web searches.

Steps:

  1. Log in to your Amazon account on the web
  2. Go to ‘Your Account’ dropdown and click ‘Your Account’
  3. Under ‘Shopping Programmes’ click ‘Amazon Household’
  4. Click ‘Add a child’
  5. Enter the details of your child – make sure you enter their correct birth year so they see age appropriate content
  6. Click ‘Manage Your Content and Devices’
  7. Here you can control what purchase content your child can access and on what device

Restrict in-app purchases ?

This restricts the device being used to buy app add-ons and also deliveries from Amazon.

Steps:

  1. Open the Alexa App on your phone (find this in the App Store/Google Play Store) or echo.amazon.com
  2. Tap the Menu icon
  3. Click Settings
  4. Tap ‘Voice Purchasing’
  5. Add a 4-digit pin and tap save to set up the pin. Alternatively, you can disable voice purchasing altogether here.

Icon of an ear with a cross through it

? Top Tip

You can turn off your Echo’s mic to stop the Echo listening when you don’t want it to. Smart virtual assistant speakers are always-on, always-listening in order to be always-helping, however if you don’t like this just click the microphone on-off button on top of the device.

Fun Questions ?

For your Voice Assistant to work you need to say “Alexa” before each command. Here are some ones to get you started:

– “Alexa, which came first: chicken or egg?”
– “Alexa, rock, paper, scissors”
– “Alexa, I am your father”
– “Alexa, Marco!”
– “Knock knock”
– “Alexa, sing Baby Shark”
– “Alexa, tell me a fact about dinosaurs”

? Top Tip

You can listen to all your Amazon Echo recording in the Alexa App. Go to Settings, History and you will see a list of all entries. You can listen and also delete recordings.

Apps (called Skills) ?

Amazon calls their apps Skills. Alexa Skills can be enabled from the web or the Alexa App. Just search the name of the Skill you want to add and click ‘Enable.’ You need to turn on ‘Kids Skills’ in your Alexa App to allow children in your care to access age-appropriate skills.

?? Little Kids

santa with rosy cheeks

– NORAD Tracks Santa: Where exactly in the world is he?
Perfect for Christmas Eve. This skill tracks where Santa is in the world now!

Say “Alexa, ask NORAD Tracks Santa, where’s Santa?” or “Alexa, ask NORAD Tracks Santa, when will Santa be at my house?”
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icon of female with brown hair with speech bubble coming from mouth

– BBC Kids: Let someone else be the storyteller tonight
Listen to CBeebies Bedtime Stories with this skill. Choose from stories narrated by Dolly Parton, Tom Hardy, George Ezra etc. You can also play games such as Waffle the Wonder dog and Justin’s House.

Say “Alexa, ask CBeebies for a story” or “Alexa, ask CBeebies for a Game.”
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icon of a zebra smiling

– Animal Workout: Let your wild side run free
Perfect for rainy or snowy days to burn off some of that energy. This skill prompts children to pretend to be a certain animal and do movements in time with the music. Try it alongside your child for even more fun.

Say “Alexa, open Animal Workout.”
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elephant facing to the right

– Zoo Walk: Guess the animal
Get those little brains working with this fun game. Alexa will play an animal sound and you have to guess which animal it is.

Say “Alexa, start Zoo Walk.”
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emoji with it's tongue out

– SillyThings: Be a little bit silly
Children love being a little bit silly and this skill does just that. From pretending to fall down in slow motion to acting like you are scared of your shadow. This will definitely generate some laughs!

Say “Alexa, Ask SillyThings to tell me a funny thing to do.”
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?? Big Kids

icon of a book with a purple cover

– Amazon Storytime: Once upon a time, Alexa…
Perfect for bedtime, or anytime. Stories narrated for children age 5-12.

Say “Alexa, read me a story from Amazon Storytime.”
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air symbolising fart

– 4AFart: It wasn’t me! It was the Sprouts!
A bit of slapstick humour to get the kids giggling. Alexa will let one rip.

Say “Alexa, Ask for a Fart.”
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brain

– Kids Quiz: Exercise those brain muscles
A fun game with four difficulty levels and a wide variety of subjects. Multiple choice answers make the game easier for kids to play. Children also get to pick their topic on each level and earn stars as they play, making the game feel more rewarding as well.

Say “Alexa, play Kids Quiz.”
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red door opening

– The Magic Door: Open the Door to your Imagination…
An interactive story. This skill lets kids decide what happens in the story picking the next step they want to take.

Say “Alexa, open The Magic Door.”
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blue question mark in a speech bubble

– Would You Rather for Family
This family safe version of the classic ‘Would You Rather’ game comes with two editions – Standard and Disney. You enter the number of people playing and each player gets asked 10 questions. Silly questions such as “Would you rather drink maple syrup or toothpaste” keep the laughs coming. The game will also give you feedback on your answer such as the percentage of people who agree with your choice.

Say “Alexa, Play Would You Rather.”
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? You

Here’s how Alexa can make your life easier:

list with ticks on each item

– Quick List
This app can help you create to-do lists and shopping lists. Add items and take your lists with you on the go.

Say “Alexa, ask Quick List to add bread and milk and cheese to my shopping list.”
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icon of a tv

– TV Guide
Ask your Alexa what’s on the telly tonight and put an end to the endless scrolling.

Say “Alexa, ask my TV Guides what’s on the telly tonight?”
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Fuel pump that is yellow

– Fuel Finder
Using your postcode this skill will find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you.

Say “Alexa, ask fuel finder where’s the cheapest diesel.”
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road with yellow lines in middle

– UK Roads
Find out about traffic incidents and the status of roads before you travel.

Say “Alexa, ask UK Roads what’s the status of the M40.”
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baby with 2 pieces of hair smiling

– Baby Stats
Perfect for parents of a new-born this Alexa skill lets you track your baby’s feedings, weight, sleep, stool and much more. It syncs with the Baby Stats phone app. This helps sleep deprived parents keep track of their busy lives.

Say “Alexa, ask baby stats to add poop and pee” or “Alexa, ask baby stats how many feedings in the last 24 hours.”
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You can also enable sending texts, flash briefings from your preferred news source and radio from your favourite channel!
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