Menu
Amazon

We all want our children to grow up valuing manners and being polite, but for today's tech-savvy kids, manners are sometimes not top of mind when communicating with or through digital devices.


Amazon just announced it's launching the Echo Dot Kids Edition which—in addition to stopping the constant stream of crazy kid questions directed at mom and dad's Alexa—will now reward kids who use their "magic words."

The kids edition is priced at $79.99 and comes with one year of the new FreeTime Unlimited family plan. Within that subscription you get access to over 300 Audible kids' books; kid-friendly music, and content from Disney, Nickelodeon, National Geographic.

FEATURED VIDEO

The extra cool thing is that if kids are polite when accessing this stuff, Alexa rewards them by recognizing their good manners.

Like, if a kid says "Alexa, please tell me how many whiskers a cat has?"Alexa will reply with something like, "Thanks for asking so nicely."

If the kiddo says thanks after Alexa replies to some crazy kid command, the Kids Edition Dot will say "You're welcome."

Critics of Alexa are pretty stoked about this upgrade. According to the BBC, the researchers at ChildWise, which recently published a report warning that kids growing up with virtual assistants might be learning rude behavior, are happy to see Amazon taking kids (and manners) into account when designing such devices.

"This is a very positive development," ChildWise research director Simon Leggett told the BBC. "We had noticed that practically none of the children that we had talked to said they ever used the words 'please' or 'thank you' when talking to their devices."

So in addition to helping your kids remember to use their magic words, what else can the Echo Dot for kids do? Well, it'll block inappropriate songs, can be set to go silent and bedtime, and will tell your kids when dinner is ready so that you don't have to yell up the stairs. Pretty cool.

"With Echo Dot Kids Edition and FreeTime on Alexa, parents can have peace of mind knowing their kids are getting age-appropriate content, while they listen to music, ask questions, enjoy Audible books, use Alexa skills, and more. We can't wait for parents and kids to try this out," says Dave Limp, the Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices and Services.

According to Amazon, this Alexa "speaks kid," so if your child says something like, "Alexa, I'm bored," the device will spout off some age-appropriate suggestions. There's also an activity review, so parents can review what their kids are doing during FreeTime on Alexa, and listen back to the kids' voice recordings.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition is about $30 more than a regular Echo Dot, but it comes in three kid colors (red, green and blue) and a 2-year warranty in case your kids are a little rough with it.

FreeTime on Alexa and the Echo Dot Kids Edition launch May 9.

You might also like:

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners
Naya Rivera/Instagram

As mamas we want our babies to be safe, and that's what makes what happened to Glee actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey so heartbreaking. Late Wednesday night news broke that Rivera was missing and presumed drowned after her 4-year-old son, Josey, was found floating alone on a rented boat on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Ventura County Sheriff's Department Capt. Eric Buschow said the mother and her preschooler were swimming near the boat Wednesday afternoon. Josey got back into the rented boat after the swim but his mother did not. The preschooler was later found by other boaters, sleeping alone in the boat. Rescuers were able to figure out who he was because Rivera's wallet and identification were on the boat.

FEATURED VIDEO

Our hearts are breaking for Josey and his dad right now. So much is unknown about what happened on Lake Piru but one thing is crystal clear: Naya Rivera has always loved her son with all her heart.

Keep reading Show less
News