Make any Amazon Echo more kid-friendly with one setting


The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition is a nifty little bundle, but if you have an old Echo Dot you’d like to give your child — or the new 3rd gen Echo Dot, with its larger speaker and plusher look — then you can make it act just like a Kids Edition. It doesn’t take long, it doesn’t require any extra hardware, and it’ll take you mere minutes to complete.

Products used in this guide

Set up Amazon FreeTime on an Amazon Echo

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Tap the Devices tab (the right-most tab).
  3. Tap Echo & Alexa.
  4. Tap the Echo device you want to convert.

  5. Under General device settings, tap FreeTime.
  6. Tap the toggle for FreeTime to enable FreeTime on your device.
  7. Tap Setup Amazon FreeTime.

  8. Enter your child’s name, gender, and age.
  9. Select an profile icon.
  10. Tap Add Child.
  11. We need to grant permission for Amazon to collect data about your child’s habits and usage. Tap Continue.
  12. Sign in to your Amazon account.

  13. The Parental Consent agreement will be displayed. Tap I agree.
  14. You’ll need to decide which Alexa Services you want accessible on FreeTime. If there are any services you want to toggle off, tap that service’s toggle.
  15. Scroll to the bottom and tap Continue.

With setup complete, you can use the free tier of Amazon FreeTime on Alexa immediately, and with that free tier, you can use many of the Kids Edition features such as:

  • Explicit song filtering (through Amazon Music or Spotify Premium)
  • Educational Q&A and progress reports
  • Adjustable age filters and content controls
  • Sharing a parent’s paid content with child profiles
  • Thanking children when they say please
  • Time limits and bedtime-enforced quiet hours
  • Easily disable voice purchasing
  • Quickly engage 1-12 hour pauses

Do I need FreeTime Unlimited?

While FreeTime Unlimited is not required, it does enable your child to do a whole lot more with an Amazon Echo device — as well as other devices thanks to the FreeTime app for Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire tablets. The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, which gives your child access to the following content:

  • Premium Alexa skills and licensed character alarms
  • Hundreds of Audible audiobooks
  • Kid-friendly playlists and ad-free radio stations from iHeartRadio, Disney, Nickelodeon, National Geographic, and more
  • Age-appropriate apps and games (on Android and Amazon Fire phones, tablets)
  • 10,000 popular videos and books (on phones, tablets, Fire TV)

Without Unlimited, you’ll need to have an Amazon Music or Spotify subscription for your child to access music with the explicit music filter turned on, and you’ll have to purchase and add audiobooks to your child’s account before they can listen to them on their FreeTime-enabled Amazon Echo. If you already have an ample music and audiobook library to share with your child, Unlimited may not be needed, but it definitely upgrades the experience for your child.

How to sign up for Amazon FreeTime Unlimited

  1. Open the Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Subscription page.
  2. Click Start your 1-month free trial.

Your trial will be started immediately thanks to Amazon 1-Click, and if you don’t cancel your subscription before the month is over, the payment method associated with Amazon 1-Click purchases will be charged.

Our top equipment picks

Technically, you can activate FreeTime on any Amazon Echo product, but if you’re buying a new device for your child, it certainly makes sense to buy the newest Amazon Echo Dot, which is compact enough for any child’s nightstand or plushie-covered dresser and is the most affordable for the parent as well.

Pint-sized power

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen)

$50 at Amazon

A plush but powerful little hockey puck

The Echo Dot is child-sized but has almost all the same features as its big brothers. The newest model packs a bigger speaker and better microphones into nearly the same size profile and gives it a cuter, cuddlier look.

While the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition may be a better value on paper, the Kids Edition bundle uses a 2nd-gen Echo Dot, and the 3rd gen is more than worth the upgrade, especially in single-child Amazon Prime homes, where a year of FreeTime Unlimited is only $36. The Echo Dot has a much bigger sound, the LED ring is more visible, and the design is much more pleasing to the eye.

Additional Equipment

In order to get the full "Kids Edition" experience, you’ll need the following equipment and services to get rolling. It won’t give you that "two-year worry-free warranty", but it can help you get most of the protection and features.

Mission Cables Skin for Echo Dot (3rd Gen)

$12 at Amazon ($12)

The sides of the 3rd-gen are covered with fabric instead of hard plastic, and while that makes it look cuddlier, it also makes it more prone to spills and stains.

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited

$3/mo at Amazon

This subscription can expand the controls over your child’s FreeTime account, but it also opens your child up to whole new worlds of content and possibility.

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December 25, 2018 at 06:07AM