Your Amazon Echo includes a host of features such as games and apps for kids. However, you will need to master various Alexa skills and commands to use them.
The Amazon Alexa app needs to be installed to find these Alexa Skills, and it's also needed to set up your speaker. Once the Alexa app is set up, you can turn Alexa Skills on or off with just a tap of the button.
Some of these Alexa Skills take advantage of Echo hardware, like the microphone array and speaker setup of Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus, while others use the touchscreen found on Echo Show. There are skills for children, as well as games and guides available.
Among those Alexa Skills are Alexa Announcements, which allow you to broadcast a message to all your devices and family members at once. And that feature was followed by a range of child-friendly Echo Dots called the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition. Each new kids colored dot is only $39,99, which is down from the original price of $79,99. They feature a two-way intercom that works with other Echo Dot devices, the ability to call approved family members or friends, play audiobooks and music, and more on the go. Alexa commands help.
If you're just starting out or looking for some inspiration, here are some of the best Alexa skills to install.
20 Great Alexa Skills and Commands
1. Channel your inner Skywalker with Star Wars Trivia
For the hardcore Star Wars fan in you, the Star Wars Trivia Alexa Skill by DibbleCode tests your knowledge of the Star Wars movies. Many users are reporting that Alexa says the skill is enabled when it is not. You have to say "Alexa Open Star Trivia" to make it work. Like most Star Wars skills, this one is unofficial.
2. Play PAC-MAN stories
Bandai Namco made its first foray into the world of interactive storytelling on Amazon Echo with the launch of PAC-MAN Stories. Available on all Alexa-enabled devices, including Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, the PAC-MAN Stories skill lets families use Alexa in a sort of "choose your own adventure" game. Players make choices for PAC-Man as he progresses through the story. Each decision generates a different narrative arc.
The first story that launches with the Alexa skill is PAC-MAN and the Ghastly Garbage. The goal is to save planet PAC-MAN from Ghastly Garbage. Along the way, you'll make decisions, choose paths, and earn Power Pellets based on your choices. The Alexa Skill includes PAC-MAN as well as Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde. Learn more about the PAC-MAN STORIES skill here.
3. Play LEGO with Alexa
In the same vein as the PAC-Man stories, LEGO has partnered with DUPLO to create the LEGO Duplo Stories Alexa Skill that combines physical play with Amazon's Alexa voice service. Using an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, kids can respond to LEGO DUPLO stories using one of five vehicles or five animal playsets. The goal is to change the story path, guided by Alexa, using physical toys.
4. Alexa Task Board
Alexa isn't just fun and entertaining, it can help you (and your kids) stay busy and productive. The Alexa Skill Chore Chart is great because you can set up activities and get reminders to do them without ever having to lift a finger.
Using this skill is free and all you need to do is assign members of your household to a chore. When they complete the task, and get a point for your Chore Score when you complete it.
5. Dictate an SMS with your voice
In January 2022, Amazon added the skill to send an SMS message to your contacts. You have to go through a few steps to set it up, and it's currently only for Android handsets, but it's a pretty handy capability to add to Alexa's collection. Naturally, you can't text the emergency services and you can't do group MMS, but it can come in handy if you're in a rush and need to tell someone you're on your way .
6. Destiny 2 Ghost: AI at its best
Destiny 2's Ghost AI device lends itself perfectly to partnering with Alexa, given that they're both effective virtual assistants. It's no wonder, then, that the developers teamed up with Amazon to release Destiny 2 Ghost Alexa Skill. Once enabled, you can ask Ghost for lines of dialog for the following:
- Learn more about Destiny 2 characters
- Know what to do next if you get stuck at any point in the game (you'll get Alexa specific commands so the Ghost skill knows how far you've progressed)
- Manage your arsenal and have Ghost equip certain weapons
- Connect with friends
Some Alexa commands for Destiny 2 Ghost include:
- “Alexa, ask Ghost who the Red Legion is. »
- “Alexa, ask Ghost what to do next. »
- “Alexa, ask Ghost to equip my raid gear. »
- “Alexa, ask Ghost to call for backup”
- Plus over 1 other lines to explore
7. Gas Buddy: The ultimate gas station search engine
The Gas Buddy Alexa Skill does more than just report gas prices in your area. You can ask for prices at other locations, get ratings on cafe and bathroom cleanliness, find stations with restrooms, and even buy fuel at a Love's gas station. A simple but very effective skill, Gas Buddy helps you find the cheapest gas price in your area. You'll need to enable access to your location services to run this command, but it's worth it. You also need the Gas Buddy app for some functionality.
8. Amazon Storytime
As the name suggests, Amazon's Storytime Alexa Skill plays a collection of stories and can entertain kids during the day, or can even read them bedtime stories. Some stories are even narrated by Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants. You can ask Alexa to read a story to you through the Storytime app and stop the story at any time. The next time you talk to Alexa, she'll ask you if you want to pick up where you left off or start a new story.
Note: You can't ask Alexa to play a specific story, but you can tell her to start a new one or try a general topic, like a Ripley story or silly stories. Customers report that Alexa shows stories in their library, but tends not to find them when asked directly.
Here are some examples of what you can tell Alexa using the Amazon Storytime skill:
- “Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to tell me a Ripley story. »
- “Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to tell me silly stories. »
- “Alexa, pause” to pause and “Alexa, resume” to continue listening.
- “Alexa, next” to skip a story.
- And more
9. Alexa Stories Skills
Alexa Story skills go hand in hand with the Amazon Storytime Alexa skill but deserve their own topic. Many story skills are available for Amazon Alexa devices. Some story skills are character specific while others are general topics like sci-fi, scary, and bedtime.
dix. Stop, Breathe and Reflect: Let Meditation Be Your Guide
If all that exercise is a little too strenuous, there's always the Alexa Skill Stop, Breath & Think, which helps you do just that. It's a meditation coach for Alexa, guiding you through breathing exercises you can do multiple times a day to help you relax and calm your mindset.
Just shout the following sentences:
- “Alexa, OPEN Stop breathing, think”
- “Alexa, ASK Stop Breathe Think to play meditation”
- "Play Next"
- And more
11. Alexa Skills for Kids
Amazon rolled out Alexa Skills for kids under 13 in 2022, with big names like Spongebob Squarepants and Sesame Street. It's since opened up to other major characters and names, including Highlights Magazine, Winnie the Pooh, Hello Kitty, plus tons of other Alexa Skills.
The first time you add a kid-friendly Alexa skill, you must turn it on in the Alexa app. To give permission, parents must verify their identity using an SMS code sent to the phone number linked to their Amazon account, or by entering the credit card security code in their Amazon account. Alexa will then register the parental authorization.
This goes hand in hand with the launch of the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, which looks like a regular Echo Dot wearing a colorful coat.
12. Dyson: Stay cool and vacuum without lifting a finger
Speaking of air, Dyson's next-generation air purifiers are Alexa-enabled, using the Dyson-Alexa-Skill by Dyson Limited. Check the link to see compatible models. Wi-Fi connected Dyson air handlers have Alexa commands to turn them on and off and alternate between using the fan and using air purification. Once you've installed the skill, just ask "Alexa, start purifying" and your air will be clean in minutes. In addition, the skill will work will select Dyson robot vacuum cleaners.
Some Dyson Alexa commands include:
- “Alexa, set fan speed to 5”
- "Alexa, set oscillation to wide"
- "Alexa, turn on night mode"
- “Alexa, ask Dyson to start cleaning. »
- “Alexa, ask Dyson to turn on quiet mode. »
- “Alexa, ask Dyson the current status of my robot. »
13. Tint: lights on, lights off
If you're an Echo user who's lucky enough to have Philips Hue bulbs in your home, look no further than the Hue Alexa Skill by Philips Hue, which lets you turn your Philips lights on or off. Hue and change the "mood" of the room. You can adjust the mood of the space with controls like Relax, Concentrate, Energize, and Dimmed. The future of the 80s is finally here!
14. Sonos: Alexa works with Sonos
Amazon offers the Sonos Alexa skill from Sonos, Inc. that lets you control and sync music across multiple Amazon Echo devices. Users can target music to a specific Echo device or group of devices simply by asking Alexa. Originally, this feature was not included or possible.
You can sync your music playback across Echo devices to play songs from the following services:
- Amazon Music
- Spotify Premium,
- iHeart Radio
To use the feature, use the Alexa app to create groups with two or more Echo devices by naming the group, for example "downstairs". Once you've created the group, just say, "Alexa, play pop music downstairs," for example.
Of course, this multiroom feature isn't the only useful perk available to Echo users. Playing music is just one of Alexa's thousands of capabilities. There are over 7 skills that can enhance Echo in all sorts of useful, fun, and surprising ways.
15. 7 Minute Workout: A Much More Affordable Personal Trainer
The 7 Minute Workout Alexa Skill by Pargee is based on a set of scientifically proven exercises designed to increase metabolism, improve energy, reduce stress and burn fat. It also turns Alexa into a virtual personal trainer. To get started, just say "Start 7 Minute Workout" and you'll be guided through the routine. Take breaks when you need them, then just let Alexa know when you're ready to start the next exercise.
16. Plex: better control of your media
The Alexa Plex Skill lets you control your media library without moving a muscle. If you're using Plex Media Server and have an Echo device in your living room, you can ask Alexa to do the following:
- Play Movies
- Tell you what's next on your Plex deck
- Suggest things you might want to watch
17. MasterMind: hands-free text-to-speech
If you want to give your numbers a rest from all that relentless typing on your smartphone, the Alexa Brain Skill by povezi lets you talk to the world by reciting your desirable text message. Enjoy hands-free texting at its best.