This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We have been huge Amazon fans for quite a while now. I’ve been a Prime member for years and love taking advantage of free 2-day shipping!
We got each of our 3 older children a Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet last year for Christmas and they have truly been one of the best gifts we’ve purchased for them. They get so much use out of them! I love the parental controls the tablet offers. I love the warranty that comes with them too! My son Jacob DID break his tablet about 9 months after purchase and, true to their word, getting a new tablet was hassle free and SO easy!
My 2-year-old received a tablet from another brand last year for Christmas and it hasn’t been nearly as nice as the Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet. He is always wanting to use his older siblings tablets instead. So, this year his big present will be a Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet of his own! I don’t think we will ever purchase another kind of tablet for kids. Ever!
Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition
One thing we hadn’t yet tried from Amazon was Amazon Echo and Alexa. We have a simliar smart home device and since they seemed pretty similar, I figured we didn’t need one from Amazon too. Well, then my kids learned how to play music on it and that’s where things went badly. If you’re reading this post, it’s likely you have young children too and you know how hard they can be to understand at times. So, my 2-year-old would be yelling, “play the Gummybear song” only to have the smart device hear something entirely different and start playing a song with explicit content!
As parents who heavily monitor the content that our children listen to and watch, my husband and I were mortified and quite concerned. The kids like to put the device in their bedroom and we were worried about what they might end up listening to when we weren’t around. So, we unplugged it and set it out of their reach. But, of course, the kids were pretty sad to lose their music device.
Then I read about Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition and knew we needed to get one of those for our family!
The Echo Dot Kids Edition is built just for kids – and parents like us! Alexa, as she’s called, can play music, tell jokes or read stories, and with the Echo Dot Kids Edition, you can turn on filters in the Parent Dashboard so that everything that comes out of her speakers is appropriate for children! *It’s important to note here that the device does not arrive with the explicit filter turned out. You will need to go to your dashboard and activate this option.*
Alexa comes with a year’s subscription to Amazon Freetime Unlimited, a service that gives kids access to over 1000 audiobooks plus other educational content on the Echo device. We have Amazon Freetime on the Fire tablets for the kids as well, and that gives them access to games, apps, and more too! The Echo Dot Kids Edition also comes in a colorful kids case AND that great 2-year guarantee!
We also recently got the new Amazon Echo Show and it’s quickly become an important fixture in my kitchen. This little screen is so handy and I’m excited to tell you more about it over the coming weeks!
10 Ways Alexa Makes Our Christmas Brighter
Over the past few weeks, I have found that Alexa has been a great support during the holiday season for our family. I have found that we use her for a LOT of things, so I thought I’d share those with you today.
Recipes for Christmas Cookies
Who doesn’t love Christmas cookies?! It’s one of my favorite things to do with our kids. I got rid of all of my cookbooks a few years ago when I was purging. Instead, I just find good recipes online that I can use. In the past, I either had to print the recipe, keep my laptop open, or continually check my phone. Not anymore! With the Amazon Echo Show, you can pull the recipe right up on the screen. It was so helpful to have it right on my counter this year!
This year for the first time ever we made this sugar cookie recipe and they turned out fabulous! They taste like they came from a bakery!
I set timers for a lot of things, all year long, but especially at Thanksgiving and Christmastime, I found this helpful with all of the baking I’ve been doing. I use the Amazon Echo Show for timers in my kitchen but you can also set timers on the Echo Dot Kids Edition.
Playing Christmas Music
I love, love, love Christmas music. I’m one of those people who starts listening in September (sorry, not sorry). I hate the cold of the winter but I LOVE Christmas, so listening to the music of the season always helps to cheer me up on the coldest of days. My new favorite band of the year is Anthem Lights. I love that I can ask Alexa to play Anthem Lights Christmas music and she will shuffle and play the titles for me.
The kids, of course, love the Christmas classics as well and frequently ask Alexa to play their favorites, like The Grinch, Frosty and Snowman, and Rudolph. You can also just ask either echo device to play Christmas classics if you aren’t looking for a particular band or title.
It is SO nice knowing that I can let them ask Alexa to play music on the Echo Dot Kids Edition and not worry that anything explicit is going to come out! They have been using it all the time lately!
Keeping Me Updated on Shipped Packages
Remember, I have 5 kids. It’s not easy to find someone to babysit all of them and it’s also not fun to drag them all to the mall. I have done almost all of my holiday shopping this year through Amazon. I love that my Echo Show keeps me updated on when my packages are shipped and should be arriving!
See When Packages are Delivered
How many of you screen your phone calls? Come on, tell the truth! It’s so easy to do these days with cell phones! Well, we have a video security system and now I can use it along with the Amazon Echo Show to screen my doorbells rings. I just pull up a live feed for our front door and I can easily see if the delivery person is waiting for me to sign or if he’s just dropping a package and heading out. I can also tell if it’s some pesky door-to-door salesperson trying to bother me at dinnertime.
Occasionally packages ship in boxes that give away the contents of what’s inside. Since I can look out there and see my packages, I know whether it’s “safe” for my kids to look outside or not!
One time the doorbell rang during dinnertime and I was going to ignore it. But, thankfully I pulled up the live feed and was delighted to see Christmas carolers at the door! Of course, we all ran to the door for that! That was the first time we’d ever had carolers and it was so nice!
Tell Christmas Jokes
My kids love telling jokes. In fact, I bought my oldest a joke book for Christmas. Did you know that Alexa will tell you jokes for free? They love asking Alex to tell them a joke and lately have been asking her for Christmas ones. Here is one of the recent favorites for you:
What does a vegetarian hang by the fireplace?
Answer: Celery Stalkings
Did you know that Alexa can help your children call Santa using the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition? We called into Santa’s office earlier today and we were able to listen in to one of his special staff meetings with the elves. It was so cute!
Watching Christmas Movies
With the Echo Show, we can watch Christmas movies anywhere I can take my Show! For me, that’s typically in the kitchen. It makes it easy to watch purchased movies from my library or classics that are available to me for free on Amazon Prime (like It’s a Wonderful Life!). I’ve really been enjoying the ability to turn something on while I’m washing dishes and cleaning up from all of the baking I’ve been doing!
The kids especially enjoyed being able to watch Christmas movies while we working on our Christmas cookies!
Answering all of the Important Holiday Questions
Do your children ever ask you random questions that you have no idea how to answer? Yeah, mine do too! Now, I just send them to Alexa when they want to ask me things like
- What do reindeer eat?
- How old is Santa?
- How many elves live at the North Pole?
How many times have your kids asked you how many days until Christmas?! Mine haven’t asked me all month long! Why, because I taught them how to ask Alexa! Now instead of bothering me, they just find their Echo Dot Kids Edition and Alexa is happy to answer this never-ending question!
As you can see, there are a lot of great ways you can use Alexa this holiday season! How do YOU use Alexa at your home?