Amazon announces all-new Alexa experiences built for kids in the UK
Amazon has announced the arrival of Alexa experiences for kids and their parents: Amazon Kids on Alexa, Amazon Kids+ on Alexa, and Echo Dot Kids.
Over the last three years, over 20 million kids and their parents have enjoyed award-winning Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+ across Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle, iOS, Chromebook, Android devices – and now Alexa. These new offerings bring Alexa-specific features and content to Amazon’s popular Kids and Kids+ services so that children can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Amazon has a longstanding commitment to preserve the trust of our customers and their families. We conduct robust testing and research and have strict measures in place for Echo Dot Kids, Amazon Kids, and Amazon Kids+ that protect children and provide parents with transparency and control over the experience, creating a safe space in which kids can learn and have fun. Amazon Kids on Alexa includes family-focused features such as explicit song filtering, bedtime limits, educational Q&As, household communications, positive reinforcement for using the word “please”, disabled voice purchasing, and more.
Amazon Kids+ is now also available on Alexa, providing access to over 170 Audible kids’ books, 10 ad-free radio stations from Fun Kids, character alarms, premium Alexa kids skills from Disney, National Geographic, Harry Potter, Gruffalo, and more. It starts at just £1.99 per month for Prime members, while customers who already subscribe to Amazon Kids+ get the subscription content for free.
Echo Dot Kids, £59.99, is the simplest way to get started with the Alexa kids experience. It comes with one year of Amazon Kids+, a kid-friendly tiger or panda design, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee.
I'm delighted to be able to bring Happy Place Kids to children on Amazon Kids+ and Echo Dot Kids, which can help children relax and unwind at any time of the day.
Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+ on Alexa will roll out to existing Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus owners via a free, over-the-air software update from July 21st.
Options that work for you and your family
Parents can choose any of the following options for their children:
- Echo Dot Kids enables families to enjoy the Alexa kids experience in no time, pairing an Echo Dot with Amazon Kids features and 1 year of Amazon Kids+
- Amazon Kids on Alexa brings family-focused features to Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus for free. To get started, simply add Amazon Kids to an existing or new Echo device via the Alexa app
- Amazon Kids+ on Alexa offers a wide selection of Alexa-specific content such as kid-friendly premium skills, Audible books, and more – all at no additional cost for existing Kids+ members
“We’re excited to bring Echo Dot Kids to the UK for kids to have fun and learn with Alexa,” said Eric Saarnio, Vice President, Amazon Devices EU.
“More than 20 million kids and parents around the world already enjoy Amazon Kids. With Echo Dot Kids, Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+ on Alexa, parents can have peace of mind knowing their children are getting family-focused age-appropriate content such as listening to Audible books, asking questions, using premium Alexa skills, enjoying the Magic Word feature, and more — all in a child-safe and secure environment.”
Amazon Kids on Alexa - family-focused features and fun, for free
Designed for parents and kids, Amazon Kids on Alexa brings all-new Alexa features and parental controls to Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus, including:
- Block explicit lyrics: parents with Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music can have the playback of songs with explicit lyrics blocked
- Time limits: set bedtime and time limits to prevent kids from talking with Alexa late into the night, or pause Echo devices whenever you like
- Parental controls: use the Parent Dashboard and Alexa app to choose which services and skills children can use, automatically turn off voice purchasing, and more
- Activity review: Parent Dashboard allows parents to see their kid’s Alexa activity, plus review their voice recordings in the Alexa app
- Magic Word: the Magic Word feature offers positive reinforcement when kids use the word “please” while asking questions to Alexa
- Educational Q&As: children can ask Alexa questions about science, maths, spelling, definitions, or any other topic that piques their curiosity. Since Alexa is built in the cloud and is always getting smarter, Alexa will continue to learn new information every day
- Alexa speaks “kid”: Alexa has age-appropriate suggestions at the ready, so all children have to say is, “Alexa, I’m bored.” They can also ask for knock-knock jokes, songs, and more
- Household communications: gone are the days of shouting up the stairs for the kids to come down to dinner. Amazon Kids on Alexa allows for household announcements, calling, messaging, and Drop In within the home
Amazon Kids+ on Alexa – premium content, skills, and features
Amazon Kids+ on Alexa takes the best of Amazon’s all-in-one Kids+ subscription and adds Alexa-specific elements, spanning premium skills such as Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place for Kids, Bing, Gruffalo Move, and more.
With Amazon Kids+ on Alexa, parents get all of the parental controls and features mentioned above, plus unlimited access to age-appropriate content, including:
- Over 170 Audible books: children can enjoy hours of entertaining and educational Audible books performed by some of their favourite characters and authors such as Paddington Bear, C S Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew, The Snowflake read by Claire Foy, and books by David Walliams
- 10 ad-free stations from Fun Kids: children will love the thousands of songs available on stations such as Fun Kids Non-stop, Fun Kids Party, and Fun Kids Classics to name a few
- Premium Alexa kid skills from top brands: children can explore Alexa skills developed by the best in kids’ entertainment and education such as Numberblocks and Alphablocks as well as Song Jam - Beat the Intro, Barbie, Clangers Talk, Harry Potter, Night Zookeeper Disney Stories and more
- Wake up to favourite characters: kids can start the day with alarms featuring much-loved characters such as Ben 10, Numberblocks, and Alphablocks
Echo Dot Kids —combining the best of Amazon’s content for children
Echo Dot Kids is the easiest way to set up the Alexa kids experience for your child:
- Comes with the best of Amazon’s kid-friendly content, from Numberblocks and Alphablocks to Disney, National Geographic, and more, plus parental controls, one year of Amazon Kids+, and a fun panda or tiger design
- Includes a 2-year worry-free guarantee: if anything happens to your Echo Dot Kids device, return it, and we’ll replace it for free, no questions asked
- As with all Alexa-enabled devices, Echo Dot Kids is designed and built with privacy and security in mind
- Features a Parent Dashboard where you can select which services and skills your kids can use, curation of 10 ad-free radio stations with Fun Kids, voice purchasing defaulted off, and more
- Turn the microphone off with one press of a button and be informed when Alexa is sending a request to Amazon’s secure cloud via the device’s blue light indicator
Echo Dot Kids comes with the Climate Pledge Friendly badge and is built with 100% post-consumer recycled fabric, 100% recycled die-cast aluminium, and post-consumer recycled plastic. All wood fibre-based materials used in Echo Dot Kids device packaging are made entirely from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources.
In addition to using sustainable materials, Echo Dot Kids also has a Low Power Mode* to intelligently conserve energy during periods of inactivity.
Launching Alexa experiences for kids
We’re thrilled to merge Amazon Kids and Kids+ content with Alexa’s capabilities to shape even richer experiences for children. Here’s what our partners and industry experts are saying, and you can also read the interview with Numberblocks and Alphablocks.
Paul Hutson, primary school teacher and the educational director at interactive lesson tool Night Zookeeper, said: "As a teacher, I've seen first-hand the benefits of voice experiences on children’s literacy skills and how they can foster positive attitudes towards learning and provide an entertaining, educative experience. I'm excited Night Zookeeper Write & Draw will now be available on Amazon Kids+ and Echo Dot Kids."
Voice isn’t just a strategic initiative for us, it’s part of the fabric of what we do and how we think, which makes Alexa a natural fit for our content.
Joshua Davidson, children's author and managing director of Night Zookeeper added: "The Night Zookeeper Skill really encourages children to use their imagination. The personalised experience encourages them to draw and write about magical animals that have never been seen before. I know that children who already use Night Zookeeper at home or in school will be inspired by it and hopefully it will introduce many new children to the fun of being a Night Zookeeper!"
Jennie McCann, Publishing Director for Pottermore Publishing, the global publisher of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts stories in digital formats, said: “Voice isn’t just a strategic initiative for us, it’s part of the fabric of what we do and how we think, which makes Alexa a natural fit for our content. We’re seeing the adoption of voice technology change the way children and families access and engage with audio content like ours and it’s hugely exciting to work with Amazon Kids+ to engage with our audiences in ways they love.”
"Fun Kids is the biggest provider of kids audio in the UK with our national radio station,” says Matt Deegan, Station Manager of Fun Kids. “We're over the moon to have created ten brand new, ad-free, radio stations perfectly suited for little ears, exclusively for Amazon Kids+, now available on the new Echo Dot Kids.”
Claire Brossard, Director of Digital Product said: “We are excited to launch our brand new Alexa skill - Bing Time - as an exclusive preview to Amazon's Kids+. Voice apps are quickly becoming a key part of families' daily routine and "Bing Time" has been carefully crafted to enable our young audience to engage with Bing through songs, audio-stories and games. It is a wonderful example of our commitment to world-class, audience-centred digital content."
"I'm delighted to be able to bring Happy Place Kids to children on Amazon Kids+ and Echo Dot Kids, which can help children relax and unwind at any time of the day,” said Happy Place creator Fearne Cotton.
Echo Dot Kids is priced at £59.99 and begins shipping on July 21.
You can pre-order your Echo Dot Kids on Amazon or head to Currys PC World, John Lewis and Very.co.uk.
*Low Power Mode depends on user configurations.