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Here are 5 ways using Alexa can make you a better parent:


(But first, thank you Abby Vorobeychik, founder of 9Bliss, mother of two and pro Alexa user, for the content behind this week's email.)

4 little kids talking and laughing

#1. Set up a bedtime Alexa routine for your little ones

All sleep experts agree that a consistent bedtime routine sets your child up for a better night of sleep. And all parents agree that a better night of sleep for your child = a better night of sleep for you.

How? Set up an Alexa routine to keep your child's bedtime ritual the same night after night... so even a new babysitter can do it right. Here is the bedtime Alexa routine Abby set up for her daughter Lily. It kicks off when she says "Alexa, start Lily's bedtime routine."

  1. Dim lights in Lily's room
  2. Play "Lily's Sleep Playlist" on Spotify for 5 minutes
  3. Play "White Noise" from Spotify
  4. Turn off lights in Lily's room


#2. Get free speech therapy

Between 2 and 4 years old, children speak a language only their parents can understand. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends will often ask you to translate. But with Alexa, children have to speak very clearly to get their desired response.

How? Let your children control the music for the evening, watch a cartoon or listen to a story, all by asking Alexa for it themselves. The more they practice asking Alexa, the more they'll work on clear diction.


#3. Keep your supplies stocked

What is it about children that has you going to your local convenience store twice a day to stock up on diapers, wipes, hand sanitizers, sunscreen, yo-yo's, etc.? Instead, just ask Alexa to reorder your essentials -- it's the easiest way to stay stocked.

How? Just say "Alexa, order diapers" and she will prompt you to order the ones you last ordered. You can also easily add items to an Alexa shopping list to come back to later by saying "Alexa, add wipes to shopping list."

Pro Tip: Set up Alexa voice purchasing in the Alexa app right now (it will take you less than 30 seconds). You can even add a 4-digit voice code to confirm Amazon purchases and payments if you want.


#4. Start a dance party

On a cold and rainy afternoon when you can't get to the park, you've read all the books in your house and it seems like you'll never make it to bedtime... let Alexa be your personal DJ and save the day.

How? Just ask Alexa to play a kid-friendly playlist. "Alexa, play Nursery Rhyme Party Time!"


Pro Tip #1: If your kids run out of dance moves, you can enable the Animal Workout skill and watch your kids transform into sideways-walking crabs or crawling ants.

Pro Tip #2: Once your children have sufficiently destroyed their play space, have Alexa turn on the clean up song. 


#5. Homework help

Alexa has a ton of homework help skills. Try the Translated skill to translate from English to 37 other languages and the Smart Dictionary skill, which helps children decipher new words.

How? Tap the link in this email and select "Enable" (or search the skill name in the Alexa app or on Amazon.com and select "Enable"). Then, you can easily open the skill on any of your Alexa devices by saying "Alexa, open Smart Dictionary" (insert skill name of your choice!).


For more on how Alexa can make parenting a little easier, check out the latest VoiceBrew post Alexa, The Best Child Care You Never Knew You Had.

Thinking of getting your kids Alexa speakers? They're 50% off right now!

Amazon is running a buy 1, get 1 free promotion on the Echo Dot Kids Edition right now. So this is a great time to buy.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition is made especially for kids -- so they can experience Alexa as a kid-friendly DJ, comedian and storyteller but with parental controls (more details here).

You'll also get a free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited ($83 value) -- with access to over 1,000 Audible books for kids, thousands of songs, kid-favorite games and skills for Disney, Nickelodeon and more.

Interesting posts about Alexa this week


Alexa's chief scientist wants to give the voice assistant a body (Digital Trends). According to Alexa's chief scientist, "The only way to make a smart assistant really smart is to give it eyes and let it explore the world." That could include giving Alexa a physical form at some point down the line!

Amazon's Alexa for Business Blueprints lets employees make custom voice apps (VentureBeat). Amazon's preconfigured templates can be used to easily write skills (without writing code) that can address "what's the wifi password?" or "how do I set I set up corporate email on my phone?" for people within an organization.


Food Network To Have Rachel Ray "Take Over" Alexa Skill Today (Voicebot.ai). For the month of April, Ray's voice will greet Alexa users and provide information about the recipes. Just enable the Food Network skill and say "Alexa, ask Food Network what's for dinner?"

Use Alexa to Stay on Top of March Madness (Lifehacker). Just say "Alexa, what's going on with March Madness?" Or ask about the Final Four game times this weekend, scores and where the games are being played.


Bonjour Alexa! How a virtual assistant learned to speak Quebec French (CBC). Adapting Alexa to a French-Canadian audience was a real challenge thanks to the distinctive accent, so-called "joual" expressions and the linguistic mishmash known as "Franglais."
If you have questions or ideas, I'd love to hear from you. Reply to this email or get in touch at kp@voicebrew.com. Thanks for being a subscriber to VoiceBrew!
Katherine Prescott
Founder, VoiceBrew
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