As parents we need to try every hack/tip/trick that may become available to us.
Amazon Echo is one of those hacks/tips/tricks.
Amazon Echo is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more.
That’s great, but how do you use Amazon Echo to be a better parent?
I’ve played around with the Echo and found some cool ways to use it. I’ve tested these with my kids. So far they’ve helped and not hindered my parenting.
How Amazon Echo Works
Amazon Echo is a speaker, on steroids.
The Echo allows you to be hands-free with music, alarms, questions, and much more.
The Echo comes with built-in skills, but you can also add more skills. Think of Amazon Echo Skills as Apps. You can add these skills/apps to your Echo to extend its functionality.
Amazon Echo ties to the Amazon Alexa app to keep track of alarms, to-do lists, and more. They work hand-in-hand.
You can set your trigger word to be ‘Amazon’, ‘Alexa’, or ‘Echo’.
So far we’re big fans of the Echo.
The different Amazon Echo Devices
This is the flagship product. It’s bigger, better speaker.
Amazon Echo – Dot
Smaller, less expensive. We have both. We have a Dot in our bathroom.
5 Ways Amazon’s Echo Can Help Your Parenting
1. Homework Helper – 3rd grade math isn’t as easy as I remember. It’s hard. I usually find myself grabbing my calculator and using that for backup. Now I can use the Echo.
2. Shopping List – Ever run out of toilet paper in your house? Like everywhere? You know those times where everyone has to use Kleenex until you can get to the store? Using the ‘To Do’ list skill all of us can add items we need to the shopping list. ‘Alexa, add milk to shopping list’. ‘Alexa, add toilet paper to shopping list.’
3. Timers – We’re big fans of using time outs, and time ins, in our house. If one of our kiddos get in trouble any of can set a time with Alexa. ‘Alexa set a timer for 10 minutes’. Hands free punishments.
4. To Do List – Did you kid ever miss a field trip because you forgot to sign their permission slip? We have NEVER done that, but a “friend” of ours has. When the kids get home from school we ask them if there are any assignments that need to go back with them. ‘Alexa, remind us to sign the permission slip by Friday’.
5. Appointments – I’ll admit sometimes my wife and I aren’t on the same page with our calendars. We’re good, but not perfect. Amazon Echo can help us sync with each other. “Alexa, What’s on my calendar?”
I meant to stop at 5 ways but couldn’t. Here are three more ways you can use Echo in your parenting.
1. Jokes – This has been one of my favorite uses so far. “Alexa, tell us a joke.” So far they’ve all been funny, and age appropriate.
2. Dominos – Call me Kind of the Lazy, but being able to order Domino’s pizza without touching any devices or calling in is pretty sweet. ‘Alexa, Open Dominos and place my Easy Order.’
3. Bible – the Bible is important to my family. Using the Bible app with Amazon Echo is great. This app is build by Youversion. You can use the Echo to look up the verse of the day, read a particular passage. This really helps if you’re trying to memorize any verses. “Alexa, ask the Bible app to read John 3:16.”
There are many more ways Amazon Echo can help you with your parenting. We haven’t even touched on the home automation parts yet. Turning off lights, setting thermostat, finding your keys. I’ll do a follow-up post walking you through those features.