Amazon's Alexa Has New Kid-Focused Features Including 'Sesame Street' & 'SpongeBob' Games

Hey Alexa... Start the 'SpongeBob' Challenge!
George W. Bailey/Shutterstock

Last year, my husband bought me an Amazon Alexa, and TBH, my kids use it way more than I do. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think maybe their generation is just more comfortable spouting out commands to intelligent personal assistants than we are. Or maybe my kids are just too lazy to whip out their phones and push a couple buttons to pull up the answer to whatever it is they're looking for. I blame you, Siri!

Regardless of the reason, Amazon appears to have realized that children are digging Alexa, because they are now adding on learning features designed just for kids. There are games from both Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop, as well as an Amazon Storytime feature that lets little ones ages 5 through 12 choose stories from Amazon Rapids professionally narrated library. Pretty cool!

"It is important for us to invest in new technologies that are of interest to kids like home assistants," Nickelodeon EVP Matthew Evans told CNBC. "It is a natural way for kids to interact with and navigate their world, and talking with and hearing their favorite characters is fun."

To that end, Alexa will now offer a memory game from Nick called "The SpongeBob Challenge," that features everybody's favorite talking yellow sponge and involves taking food orders at the Krusty Krab and relaying them to the staff. There's also a Sesame Workshop game that lets kids play hide-and-seek with Elmo, and also ups the learning ante by teaching the alphabet based on the letter of the day.

And before you start freaking out about online safety and parental controls, Amazon promises that all the new offerings have been set up so parents will have to verify consent before their kids can access the content.

OK, Alexa. You win.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram

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