When you think of Amazon’s Alexa Speaker you instantly think music and that’s not wrong, but did you know that she could help you out with family tasks and provide you with some parenting sanity and entertainment?
Well she can and here we have listed a few of our favourite Alexa Skills that makes our Family Life run a little smoother, it’s easier if you download the Alexa App onto your mobile and manage these from there as to start you need to enable some of them before you can use them, others you can just ask Alexa and they will work straight away.
You can set your Alexa to Wake you up and at the moment there are a few funny ones to pick from Grand Tour and Grand Tour Season 2
Never under estimate the power of reminders. You can set your Alexa to remind you to do thing. This is perfect during the week, if you set reminders for all the things in the morning that the kids need to take to school you will never need to dash back to the house for the forgotten homework or flute again. Best of all as Alexa announces it to the whole house the kids tend to want to listen to her more than a naggin parent!
Yes Alexa can even help out with learning. In the Skills and Games section if you type in Phonics up will come a few games and songs and one called My Phonics which helps kids learn how to spell using phonics. Once you enable this skill then each day you just need to say “Alexa, Open my Phonics” “ Alexa, Start my Phonics” and she gives you a new word each day to learn to spell
Baby Afternoon Nap Time
If your baby needs a Nap in the afternoon and having one of those days where they are fighting the sleep, simply say, “Alexa Open Sleep Sounds” Then you need to pick which one you want there is one called “Sleep Little Babies” it’s a bit depressing to be honest our favourite is “Rainforest Sounds” especially once the birds kick in. We also like “Island Sounds for Sleep and Relaxation and Focus” they play for 30 minutes but you can ask “Alexa, Loop On” and she will play its continuously. There are loads of Sleep Sounds even a car ride one and Fan one, you need to try them to find which works best.
Plan a Picnic
Thinking of heading out on a picnic but unsure if the weather will hold out, not to worry as Alexa can tell you, simply ask here “Alexa, Tell me the weather” she will tell you the weather where you are, however if your planning a trip away from home just ask her about a specific town / village “Alexa, Tell me the weather in ……….”
Track your Babies Feeding times
If you are worried your little one is off their food or just want to keep a record of what they have ate that day then you can create a list like Food Time and then ask “Alexa, Add one o’clock to my Food Time List” and then if you want to hear whats on the list just ask “Alexa, Tell me whats on my Food Time List” You can also see and edit these lists within the Alexa App as well. Lists are also great for creating Shopping Lists or To Do Lists, just create a List with the Name that you want and Alexa will add to it.
This is a quick and fun way for your little one to learn something new every day and is perfect for during school holidays. All you need to say is “Alexa, Open Kids Facts” “Alexa, Launch Kids Facts” then “Alexa, Start Kids Facts” and the facts you will be given are all kid friendly and includes things like Disney Facts, Dinosaur Facts, Princess Facts and World of the Day facts.
There are loads of games available to play and for all age ranges some of our favourites are:
- Simon Says – It’s a classic and fun for all ages and easy to launch simply say “Alexa, Play Simon Says”
- Would you Rather Family – This is a silly game, perfect for the younger kids or anyone with a silly sense of humour. This games asks you things like if you would rather do one thing or another and some of the options are a bit wacky! A good laugh just ask “Alexa, Play Would you Rather Family”
- Feel the Pressure – This is a family friendly general knowledge quiz, where you progress through the levels up to level 10. Good fun way for the kids to get competitive against each other to see who can get up to the highest level. Just ask “Alexa, Open Feel the Pressure” and “Start New Game”
If you little ones are arguing, or mis-behaving or just general terrible twos kicked in and you as a parent need a time out to calm your nerves before facing more tantrums then Alexa can offer you a quick fix. Ask her “Alexa, play Spa Music” or another good one is “Alexa, Play Japanese Garden Sounds” and you will get a blast of calm tunes, give yourself a few good deep breathes and you’ll be restored.
If you find it hard to encourage your little one to clean their teeth or clean them for the length of time needed, well Alexa has a neat little skill that might help. Toothbrush Time with Fun and Music, your little one can listen to a fun toothbrush song whilst they clean. To launch this all you need to say is “Alexa, Start Toothbrush time”
Of course its fun to read a book together last thing at night, however once you have read a book, to help them nod off to sleep a story and a cuddle without any pages of a book to keep them engage might help. There are loads of options for Bedtime stories, however we have found Amazon Storytime has some of the best stories on it, it is aimed at 5 to 12 year olds so better options for the older kids. Its good in that you can ask for certain stories as well so for example you could say “Alexa, open Amazon Storytime” “Alexa, Ask Amazon Storytime to tell me a Lego Story” or just see want you get by asking “Alexa, Ask Amazon Storytime to tell me a bedtime story”
Another good Bedtime Story Skill is Moshi Twilight. I know Moshlings are a bit last year but this is a good skill in that during the story it includes melodies and calming content with the sole purpose to send your little one calmly off to sleep. It has three options for you to play and to select them you just ask “Alexa, ask Moshi Twilight to play a Sleep Story” or “Alexa, ask Moshi Twilight to play Something Relaxing” or “Alexa, ask Moshi Twilight to play Sleepy Paws”
Of course, another thing Alexa is great is playing Music and there is no better way to entertain any child than to dance to some awesome tunes, yes there is the exercise benefit but honestly Music Makes you Feel Good, so Don’t forget to ask “Alexa, Play me some Music”
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