With virtual assistants becoming integrated into our daily lives more and more, it’s no surprise that for some kids, their first word might be “Alexa.” The best part is that there’s plenty of Amazon Alexa skills that were made just for kids; so they can get in on the voice-activated action, too. Want to launch some serious fun with your home assistant? Here’s our ultimate list of the best Alexa skills for kids.
"Alexa, play the podcast [name of podcast]."
The family can enjoy plenty of tales and kid-friendly news by asking Alexa to play a podcast. Echo devices use the built-in radio app, TuneIn to play the most recent episodes of your favorite podcasts, and if you want to play a specific episode, all you need to do is use your Alexa app or add a skill such as Stictcher or AnyPod.
"Alexa, play Head's Up!"
Now you can play the popular game from The Ellen DeGeneres Show with your Alexa-enabled app. As Alexa gives you clues, try your best to guess from superstars, celebrities, movies, fictional characters and more.
"Alexa, play Would You Rather for Family."
Ah, the game of impossible choices—now in a totally family-friendly version.
"Alexa, ask Pikachu to talk."
Pokémon fans will love chatting it up with this adorable Electric-type Pokémon. Pika pika!
"Alexa, play Beat the Intro."
It's "Name That Tune" in a whole new format. How quickly can you guess these popular songs—and their artists?
"Alexa, open Lemonade Stand."
The classic simulation game of our childhoods becomes a voice adventure as you try to successfully run your very own lemonade stand. In this never-ending game, you can earn experience badges as you hit milestones pretending to be your very own lemonade stand tycoon.
"Alexa, open Chompers."
If your kid isn't listening to the Chompers podcast every time they brush their teeth, they are missing out!
"Alexa, play Justice League Adventures."
Team up with Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and more as you work your way through this choose-your-own-adventure style game and save the day!
"Alexa, open Animal Workout."
Every wanted to do jumping jacks with a kangaroo? Push-ups with an alligator? This fun workout skill gets kids up and moving.
"Alexa, open Sesame Street."
Your Alexa-enabled device becomes a direct line to Elmo!
"Alexa, start SpongeBob Challenge."
This voice-activated memory game tests your wits as you try to take meal orders at the Krusty Krab from the residents of Bikini Bottom.
"Alexa, start No Way That's True."
This Alexa skill from Nickelodeon will blow your kid's mind as Alexa tests your kid's knowledge about wacky, wild and just plain weird facts and trivia.
"Alexa, open Story Blanks."
This (noun) will definitely keep your (plural noun) (adjective) for (period of time) on end!
"Alexa, play Headspace Bedtime Story."
From the makers of Headspace, Headspace Bedtime Story will send your kiddos off to a peaceful dreamland with these guided meditations crafted especially for kids.
"Alexa, open Good Vibes."
Need a pick-me-up? Simply open the Good Vibes skill to hear three different motivational and inspirational quotes from popular authors and books.
Once the holiday season rolls around, your kiddo can track Santa with the help of the NORAD Santa Tracker skill for Alexa.
"Alexa, open Amazon Storytime."
Amazon now offers professionally-narrated stories for kids ages 5 to 12. Super helpful if you just need the kids to sit still and chill for a few minutes.
"Alexa, start Kids Court."
Have a sibling or family argument you need to settle right now? The Kids Court Alexa skill takes the kids to court, where they can duke it out within the structure of the U.S. judicial system in a surprisingly fair manner.
"Alexa, ask Silly Things to tell me to do something silly."
If your kid won't listen to you, maybe they'll listen to Alexa? This Alexa skill is certainly worth the entertainment value alone.
"Alexa, moo like a cow."
If you can't get your kid to calm down, maybe the bark of a dog, the squeal of a dolphin or the roar of a lion will do it. According to the Animal Sounds Alexa skill creator, users can ask to hear the sounds of a "baboon, bear, bobcat, cat, cow, coyote, hippopotamus, lemur, lion, spider, monkey, spider monkey, rooster—and more."
"Alexa, hum something."
Turns out Alexa can hum—and can actually carry a tune.
"Alexa, open Curiosity."
This cool Alexa skill gives users a choice between two topics, asking, "Are you curious about X or Y?" and gives a great overview of the topic in easy-to-understand language. After each topic, Alexa will ask if you want to learn more about the topic or learn about something else, keeping those ever-curious young minds satisfied.
"Alexa, what's the weather?"
Not sure if they need to put on galoshes or snow boots? Alexa's weather skill has your back. You can also ask for the weather in cities around the world, too.
"Alexa, open the box of cats."
Obviously, no actual box of cats materializes, but you'll hear what happens. Usually, it's cats. But sometimes users will get a surprise...
"Alexa, tell me a knock-knock joke."
Lighten the mood with a joke! Your kids will love interacting with Alexa, and she'll wait for them to say "Who's there?" before spilling the silly punchline. You can also ask "Alexa, tell me a joke," but be prepared for some pretty terrible puns.
"Alexa, launch Guess the Number."
Alexa will "think" of a number between 1 and 100, and your kids have to guess it while she directs them "higher" or "lower."
"Alexa, flip a coin."
Need to quickly settle an argument or a bet? You don't even need to dig for loose change in the couch for this Alexa skill.
"Alexa, how far away is the Moon?"
You can ask Alexa all kinds of scientific facts, from how big the Earth is, to the order of the planets, to how deep the ocean is. You can also ask geographic questions, such as state and world capitals. This is great for when your kids stump you asking for a random factoid.
"Alexa, play Twenty Questions."
This one is just as much fun for parents as it is for the kiddos. See how smart Alexa really is as she figures out what you're thinking. It's uncanny.
"Alexa, start the spelling game."
Your future Scripps' Spelling Bee champion can brush up his or her spelling skills with this fun spelling bee Alexa skill.
"Alexa, open Laugh Box."
Alexa's Laugh Box will play all sorts of giggles, but we think the baby laugh is the best one to get kids laughing, too.
"Alexa, start Zoo Walk."
Not only will the Alexa make cool animal noises, but she also invites your curious kiddo to try and guess the animal that makes each sound.
"Alexa, do you want to build a snowman?"
Young Frozen fans will love hearing how Alexa answers this one.
"Alexa, play Jeopardy."
What is, "How to keep my kid occupied while I cook?" for 100, Alexa? You can also ask, "Alexa, play Teen Jeopardy" for your teenaged aspiring game show stars.
"Alexa, I love you."
Cons of humanizing artificial intelligence aside, it's good to know your Alexa loves you, too.
"Alexa, open the Magic Door."
This command will cue the eerie sound of a door creaking, which will launch Alexa straight into a choose-your-own-adventure-style story. Your kid will need to keep quiet to hear the story and make quick decisions to keep it going the right way. Note: This one takes about 10 minutes, which makes it a nice wind-down tool after dinner and before bed.
"Alexa, sing 'Happy Birthday.'"
Yes, Alexa can sing you "Happy Birthday" 365 days of the year—366 if your kid is a Leap Year baby. Be warned—once your kids know they can ask this, you might hear Alexa's slightly creepy rendition of birthday greetings when you least expect it.
"Alexa, Flatter Me."
Does your little one need an ego boost? Perfect for tough days, the Flatter Me Alexa skill gives you a little pick-me-up for the awesome job you're doing.
"Alexa, open Bedtime Story."
Alexa will tell a quick (about a minute long!) bedtime story with your child's name in it. Fun fact: It usually ends with something like, "Now it's time for you to go to bed. No, you can't have any more water." Oh, Alexa, you know us!
"Alexa, ask Magic 8-Ball if [insert yes or no question here]."
Did you know Alexa has her very own Magic 8-Ball? No shaking required.
"Alexa, call [person's name]."
Yes, you can make calls with Alexa—but only to other Alexa users (including users who have Alexa installed on their smartphone). You can also leave messages on other Echos, Dots or Spots to which you're connected. The Alexa device flashes yellow when there's a message. This is great for saying a quick hello to grandparents if your kiddo has already wrestled your phone away from you to play that Harry Potter mobile game.
"Alexa, play [insert child's favorite song here]."
Alexa is, at its heart, a speaker made for music. So let her blast out the Doc McStuffins' theme song if it helps cheer things up. Or, if it's just you who needs the cheering, just make your pick and rock it out, mama! Alexa can play pretty much anything you ask of her, especially if you're an Amazon Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited member, which gives you access to Amazon's expansive music library.
"Alexa, ask for a fart."
This is the Amazon Alexa Skill of Ultimate Last Resort. We recommend you only pull out this one when you're really, really desperate. Because once your kids know that Alexa can fart (in multiple ways), they'll be asking for it. All. The. Time.
—Melissa Hecksher, Keiko Zoll
All photos: Courtesy of Amazon