In a never ending quest to be watchful of technology usage, parents are turning to Amazon Alexa as an alternative to screen time for kids. Rather than handing over tablets and phones to the kids so they can play apps for entertainment, start thinking of queuing up a podcast, story or even a fun and interactive game with your favorite home assistant.

Studies have long shown that too much screen time can have harmful consequences to our developing children, such as ADHD and aggressive behavior. And in this day and age, it’s near impossible to avoid technology altogether––but using devices like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa in new ways when it comes to our kids is proving to be a smart move.

Amazon Echo

Photo Courtesy of Amazon.

Amazon Alexa has nearly 500 skills just for kids. The categories for all the skills fall under Music & Audio, Games, Education & Reference and Novelty & Humor. You can find all of Alexa’s skill by visiting Amazon and enabling them for free. Our personal faves are Amazon Storytime, and Kids Court where siblings can let Alexa dole out justice during an argument.

Despite being fun and entertaining, the main takeaway is that kids are having much needed screen-free time. Asking Alexa to play music or an audiobook while coloring, doing a puzzle or traveling on a road trip exposes them to so much more than they’d get from staring at a screen. Like any activity involving kids and technology, setting healthy limits is key so don’t feel bad shutting down that audiobook and sending the kiddos outside for fresh air.

What are some unique ways you use your smart speakers with the kids? We’d love to hear in our comments below.

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––Karly Wood

 

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