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Alexa's new kid-friendly skills have a layer of parental control

Kids can add The SpongeBob Challenge, Sesame Street and Amazon Storytime skills right now.
Rob LeFebvre, @roblef
08.31.17 in Home
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Amazon's Alexa skills let you add all sorts of functionality to your Echo devices, and there are more coming every day. You can order a pizza, manage your video streaming binges, find out when your package has shipped and even book a hotel with your voice. But why should grown-ups have all the fun? Amazon has just announced kids skills in the US, which have a layer of parental permissions to help adults feel safe in adding them to their children's Echo devices.

Amazon also announced a bevy of kid-friendly activities and games that are available right now as part of the new push. Kids can check out The SpongeBob Challenge, Sesame Street and Amazon Storytime right now, along with games like The Tickle Monster Game! and Zoo Walk on their own devices. Amazon also says that hundreds of developers are interested in making kid skills, with more on the way.

Parents get a bit of control, too. The first time you ask Alexa to enable a skill that's been identified for kids, it will ask you to give the skill permission in the Alexa app. You'll need to verify your identity with a one-time text code sent to the phone number in your Amazon account or with the security code of the credit card on file. You'll be able to manage permissions on Amazon.com thereafter.

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