The Ultimate Guide to Alexa for Kids

Everything you need to know about Amazon's Echo Dot, Kids Edition

With the Echo Dot Kids Edition and Alexa for kids, children can play music, explore skills, listen to stories, ask questions, make calls, and more, just as adults do on standard Alexa-enabled devices. Here are the features of the Echo Dot Kids Edition, as well as any potential drawbacks of this child-friendly virtual assistant.

Features of the Echo Dot Kids Edition

The kids' Echo Dot is quite similar to the standard Echo Dot. It's a puck-shaped speaker that can connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, and has a light ring that provides information about the device's status or notifications.

It includes the same buttons for the volume and microphone, as well as an Action button to activate Alexa. Just like other Echo devices, Alexa for kids will answer questions about the time, weather, or general information; make phone calls; play music; tell jokes; and act as an intercom with other Alexa-enabled devices in your home.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, Rainbow, Desk
Amazon

However, there are some notable differences between the standard Echo Dot and the children's version. The following are several prominent features unique to the Echo Dot Kids Edition.

  • Design: It has a colorful design; the children's version currently comes in bright blue or rainbow-stripes.
  • Microphones: It includes seven microphones, compared with only four on the standard Echo Dot.
  • Content: It offers kid-friendly content, such as age-appropriate responses, stories, and music.
  • Filters and safeguards: Alexa filters any explicit lyrics on Amazon Music and disables standard features such as purchases, news, and adult-themed responses.

Alexa for kids also includes a year of FreeTime Unlimited, offering high-quality, age-appropriate content. Parental controls provide access to a dashboard that lets you review activity, add filters, and set time limits. For instance, you can set it so Alexa will not respond between bedtime and morning to prevent little night owls from asking for more stories and jokes.

Privacy Concerns With the Echo Dot for Kids

Although the kids Echo Dot includes numerous built-in safeguards for your littlest family members, at the end of the day, it is still a smart speaker with data collection capabilities that are worth considering.

A coalition of child protection and privacy groups has filed a complaint on the Echo Dot Kids Edition with the FTC. The group wants the agency to investigate the device, listing several problems and concerns, including the following:

  • Reviewing collected information is challenging, as parents must wade through every voice recording, with no way to search or filter the data collected by the device.
  • Since Amazon only deletes information if parents contact customer service and request it, the company retains children's personal information permanently.
  • Third-party skills might collect personal information. More than 84% of these skills do not provide privacy policies.

To view the full list of cited issues or the FTC complaint, visit echokidsprivacy.com.

Overall, the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition provides high-quality, kid-friendly content with built-in controls and features as well as a fun design. However, parents should monitor children's use of the device due to the inherent potential for large amounts of data collection.