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9 Alexa skills perfect to help keep kids learning

Jul 19, 2019 · 3:16 PM
Rebecca Hastings
00:00/00:00
This audio was generated using Microsoft’s artificial intelligence.
Photo credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
When I was a kid, I never could have imagined a hockey puck-sized computer sitting on the counter would be able to play games with me, play music, read books, and let me search all the random things a kid wonders. I was still amazed by the wonders that were Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. I never imagined the powers of an Echo device with the Alexa skills.
Now, my kids are growing up with the world at their fingertips, or the sound of their voice. Yes, I realize this makes me sound old. Alexa doesn’t care how old I am.
These nine Alexa apps (called skills) are perfect for kids (or the kid inside all of us).

The Magic Door

I still remember the nail-biting tension of deciding which path my character should take in the latest Choose Your Own Adventure Book I was reading.
More often than not, I would be tempted to look ahead at both options to see which I liked better. The Magic Door is the Choose Your Own Adventure story for the 21st century.
Full of mystery and wonder, small sections of a story are told until the listener ends up at a decision point. Should you open the letter or leave it in the mailbox? Should you take the mountain path or the ocean path? Head into the dark forest or stay on the path?
With all the decisions to make, the story is fun and magical every time. Plus, you can’t look ahead to find out what’s coming.

Spelling Bee

You can have all the fun of a spelling bee without standing in front of a room full of people. This opportunity to practice spelling is great for auditory learners, plus kids can practice spelling without it feeling like homework.
This fun skill gives kids (and adults) the chance to challenge friends or play solo, even learning about the origins and meanings of words as they go. Spelling Bee also offers great practice for an actual spelling bee!

Knock-Knock Jokes

The tried and true of jokes, Knock-Knock Jokes offers silly fun for the kid in all of us. From my childhood classics of Orange/Banana, this skill is sure to keep kids laughing and parents grateful for new material.
Young kids especially will enjoy the simple, silly interactions with Alexa.

Twenty Questions

The classic twenty questions game meets surprising “mind-reading” abilities in this family friendly Alexa skill. Kids will be amazed at Alexa’s ability to guess what they are thinking based on a series of 20 questions with yes or no answers.
Whether Alexa guesses correctly or not, it is a great thinking game that often produces some laughs. Fast-moving and attention holding, it’s also a good activity to try during a family meal so the whole clan can join in on the fun.

State Capitol Quiz

Third grade. That was the time in school I learned the states and their capitols. We practiced with maps and quizzes and silly songs to help us remember that Atlanta is the capitol of Georgia and Augusta is the capitol of Maine. Now, kids can have fun learning the 50 states and their capitols with Alexa.
State Capital Quiz skill on Amazon.com
With opportunities for practice and quiz modes, this skill is great whether you’re learning the capitol cities or want to be tested on your knowledge.

Animal Workout

When you need your little ones to release some energy on a rainy day (or just a Tuesday) Animal Workout has your back.
With fun music and easy instructions, Alexa guides kids through animal facts and urges them to move like each animal. Quick, engaging fun, children love it when their parents get in on the silly action.

Kids Quiz

Random, brain-building fun, Kids Quiz is a great way for kids ages 5 to 12 to test their knowledge in a variety of trivia categories. It’s a fun way to get kids thinking quickly, offering three questions each day.
Only taking a few minutes, it’s a great way for kids to put their thinking caps on. Kids can choose categories and difficulty levels for trivia. 

Curiosity

I can remember picking up an encyclopedia and flipping to a random page to read about whatever I could find. Curiosity is an information-packed skill that offers an audible collection of random information geared to kids in various topics.
Great for kids who soak up random information like a sponge, Curiosity offers short tidbits on all sorts of topics. Kids can choose between topics to learn something new, and the options are endless.

Chompers

This skill offers practical help for parents and fun for kids, Chompers makes daily tooth-brushing easier on everyone. With two-minute episodes that guide kids to brush their teeth, it entertains them in the process.
Riddles, short stories, and trivia keep kids actively engaged for the full two minutes while guiding them to each section of the mouth. Fun for all and offering morning and evening episodes, this skill is a hit for everyone.

Rebecca Hastings is an independent creator and not a representative of Bing or Microsoft.

Written byRebecca HastingsRebecca Hastings
Rebecca is a former teacher who is passionate about authenticity, faith, and family. She writes regularly at RebeccaHastings.net, has been featured on sites such as The Washington Post and Scary Mommy, and her books are available on Amazon. You can find samples of her recent work at https://rebeccahastings.contently.com/
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