The speaker itself is physically the same as the Echo Dot 4, with a 1.6in front-firing driver, but has child-friendly animal print designs on the fabric. There are hardware safety features such as a hard-wired mute button, which along with the main light shows red when the microphone is off.
Amazon is also introducing Kids and Kids+ on Alexa, bringing child-friendly features along with various parental controls to keep things as safe as possible.
Kids on Alexa is available at no extra cost, bringing things like the ‘Magic word’ which will reward kids who say ‘please’ when talking to Alexa. That’s just the start, with age-appropriate content at the ready, lyric blocking for anything explicit, controls such as time limits, and a dashboard with settings for things like available skills.
Parents can also review activity and manage voice recordings in the Alexa app. Kids+ on Alexa – starting at £1.99pm for Prime members – adds content like over 170 audiobooks, 10 ad-free radio stations from Fun Kids and Premium Alexa Kid Skills from brands like Harry Potter and Disney.
Kids and Kids+ on Alexa will be available on Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus devices. That means, for now, the Echo Show smart displays are not included.
Although you might have noticed the price of the Echo Dot Kids is £10 more than the Echo Dot 4, it’s more than just a premium for the cute animal design. You get a one-year family-plan subscription to Amazon Kids+ worth £79 and a 2-year worry-free guarantee.
The latter means Amazon will replace the speaker with a new one if anything happens to it.