One way Amazon helps its Fire tablets and Kindle readers stand out from the competition, especially the iPad, is with features designed specifically for kids. And Amazon is now offering FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited to its Echo speakers.
In this article, we'll take a look at FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited, detailing how parents can use the service to help manage an Echo device for their kids.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is designed for children between the ages of three and 10. By using Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, kids can take advantage of a curated array of books, movies, TV shows, apps, games, and more.
Parents can create individual profiles for each child in their household and choose what content is accessible. They can also set screen time limits and even set educational goals for kids.
You can activate the FreeTime feature at no cost for an echo using the Amazon Alexa companion app for iOS or Android devices. From the side menu, select Alexa Devices and then pick up the specific echo. Then toggle the FreeTime switch to On.
The service automatically filters explicit songs available on Amazon Music, one of the many ways to play music through your Echo and Alexa. All the ways to play music with your Amazon Echo and Alexa. All the ways to play music with your Amazon Echo and Alexa. The Amazon Echo excels at playing your music. These are all the ways to listen to music with Amazon Echo and Alexa. Read more.
Parents should also be happy to hear that voice shopping is completely turned off when using FreeTime, so there's no need to worry about your kids making expensive purchases themselves.
Both FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited are now available for any Echo that doesn't have a touch screen. So as long as you don't have an Echo Show or Echo Spot, you're good to go.
Unfortunately, FreeTime is not accessible on other third-party products that offer Alexa functionality like the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat and others.
Starting at $2.99/month for Prime members with a single child, you can also bring FreeTime Unlimited to any Echo. One subscription will unlock the service on all applicable Amazon devices.
One of the best ways people of any age can interact with Alexa is through the amazing Alexa skills. 18 Amazing New Amazon Skills You Need to Try 18 New Amazon Skills You Need to Try The list of Amazon Echo skills is growing all the time. Let's take a look at the most useful and silliest abilities of the last few months. Read More Voice-controllable apps open up a host of fun possibilities, like ordering pizza or even playing Jeopardy!
With FreeTime Unlimited, kids can access a number of exclusive premium abilities on their Echo. Some of the options include Disney's Disney Stories, Nickelodeon's No Way That true, and National Geographic's This or That.
You can take a look at other skills for kids here. To activate a specific skill, just say “Alexa, open [skill name.]”
As any parent knows, getting the kids up in the morning can be a challenge. But the FreeTime Unlimited subscription brings a set of different character alarms to help you raise your children of your dream.
Your child can choose to wake up to SpongeBob, Joy from Inside Out, or several other fun options. To set a specific alarm sound, open the Alexa app and choose Reminders &Alarms from the side menu. After selecting Alarms , click Manage alarm volume and default sound. . Finally, under Custom sounds, choose Alarm to see the available options.
And if, for some reason, the alarm does not affect your children, you can always use an echo as an intercom. How to use your Amazon Echo as an intercom. How to use your Amazon Echo as a doorphone. If you have an Amazon Echo, you can use it as a convenient intercom anywhere in your home. Read More
Since most adults use Alexa to play music, FreeTime Unlimited offers options there too. There are a number of ad-free playlists and live music stations available to listen to from iHeartRadio.
Some playlists include Morning Wakeup, Slumber Party, Disney Junior, and others. Check out all the music and playlist options here. To get started just say “Alexa, open iHeart Music and play [name of station or playlist].”
Another great subscription benefit is access to hundreds of Audible audiobooks for kids. Everything from The Three Little Pigs to Treasure Island is available for kids to listen to. Just say “Alexa, read [book title].”
Both FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited can be managed through the Amazon control panel. Unfortunately, there is no smartphone app, so you'll need to open it in a web browser.
Once you log in, various control options are available.
With a growing emphasis on managing kids' interaction with technology, parents can set limits on Alexa's interaction at any time so kids can sleep or complete homework without distraction.
Parents can also review their child's Alexa activity and voice recordings.
One of the coolest options available to activate on the Dashboard is the Magic Word feature. When a child uses the word "Please" When they talk to Alexa, they will receive positive reinforcement from the virtual assistant.
Now if only Alexa could get the kids to clean her room, the tech revolution might finally be complete.
Along with the new FreeTime options, Amazon is also launching with a new Echo Dot for kids. The Echo Dot Kids Edition, while more expensive than the regular Echo Dot, offers a couple of perks for parents.
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Most importantly, it comes with a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited.
Parents can also choose from three different colors:blue, green, or red to help protect the smart speaker. In particular, a two-year warranty should provide peace of mind. If the echo dot breaks at any time during that time, for any reason, you'll receive a free replacement.
While the Echo Dot Kids Edition looks great, there's no need to buy a new Echo if your child already interacts with an Amazon smart speaker at home.
Amazon has always made younger tech users a priority with its devices. And by introducing FreeTime and FreeTime Unlimited to the popular Echo lineup, parents can breathe easy knowing kids can interact with Alexa in a safe and fun environment.
And if you'd like to see other kid skills for any Alexa-enabled device, check out our roundup of Amazon Alexa Skills for Kids Ditch the Babysitter:15 Amazon Alexa Skills for Kids Ditch the Babysitter:15 Amazon Alexa Skills for Kids Kids Need to keep the kids busy for five minutes? An hour? An entire afternoon? Amazon has you covered with these great Alexa skills for kids. Read more.