The Amazon Echo is one of the most impressive and popular home gadgets in recent times, with a seemingly endless range of things that it can help us to achieve. By simply speaking to “Alexa”, the Echo’s friendly persona, you can accomplish a wide range of tasks around the home. Whether you’re thinking of investing in one, or whether you’ve already taken the plunge and are wondering how it can benefit your family, you’ll be amazed to discover that there are now more than 15,000 skills that “Alexa” can offer. To get the most out of Alexa, you will need to invest in Echo-enabled equipment for your home such as thermostats, locks, lightbulbs and TV remote controls, however there are lots of other things that the Echo can do by just downloading a few apps which can make family life a lot easier, and a lot more fun!
We all know that reading with our kids is pretty important for developing literacy skills, however we don’t always have the time to do it. Luckily, Alexa is there to take the job off your hands. By just asking the Amazon Echo to read a story to your child, your little ones can be entertained while you can get other jobs done around the house.
Useful Alexa Skill to Enable:
Feeding The Family
When it comes to making exciting family meals, Alexa has it covered. Not only can the Amazon Echo respond to questions such as “what can I make with chicken and broccoli?” by suggesting suitable recipes, but it can also preheat your oven to just the right temperature. Even better, for those unexpected moments when a horde of the kids’ friends come around after school, the Echo can order a pizza to feed them.
Useful Alexa Skill to Enable:
Keeping Everyone On Track
Trying to keep on top of everybody’s schedule can be tough, especially when the kids get older, but the Amazon Echo can help to make sure that everyone gets to where they’re supposed to be at the right time. Alexa can wake everyone up at the right time thanks to the alarm facility, can check train times to ensure that everyone leaves the house when they need to, and can even arrange an Uber remotely.
Relaxation And Fun
There’ll be no more arguing over music in the house as Alexa can make a customized playlist to suit each member of the family. Whether you’d rather listen to The Beatles or whether the kids would rather hear the latest top 10, Alexa can play your favorite tunes without any fuss. As the Echo can also access your Audible audiobooks, you can listen to the latest novels while you cook dinner or while you work out – the ultimate in multi-tasking, and you can even enjoy some educational family time by downloading one of the trivia skills so that Alexa can give the whole family a quiz.
Although the Amazon Echo may seem to be a bit gimmicky, it is clearly the way of the future. The amount of skills that Alexa can offer are expanding on a regular basis, and it’s becoming easier and easier to integrate it into everyday life to make life easier. From entertainment to using the timer function for “time out”, you’re sure to find the Amazon Echo becomes like a member of the family.
By Zunammie Keren
Taken from the February 2018 issue of Geek Parenting, out now!