Best answer: The newly upgraded Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition is quite the little bundle: an Amazon Echo Dot 3nd gen, a power adapter, a 2-year worry-free warranty, and a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+.
Colorful AI for the family: 2019 Echo Dot Kids Edition ($55 at Amazon)
What's in the box?
The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition may not seem like a bundle, but indeed it is. This $70 bundle packs a lot into its tiny box, although the biggest of its benefits are intangible:
- An Amazon Echo Dot (3nd gen)
- 15W power adapter
- Quick Start Guide for parents
- "Ask Alexa" Alexa Guide for Kids
- 2-year "worry-free" warranty
- 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+
The previous Kids Edition — and the previous-generation Echo Dots — used micro-USB power, but the Echo Dot's beefier speaker requires a more powerful power brick and thus has an AC adapter. If you lose or break this charger, you'll have to shell out $20 for a new one, or at least you would if the Kids Edition didn't have that sweet worry-free warranty!
When dealing with technology and kids, it's accepted that accidents do happen, and that's why the Kids Edition comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee — no questions asked. Honestly, I think the Kids Edition is worth buying over the regular Echo Dot just to upgrade from a 90-day to a 2-year warranty, but there's the software to consider.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition's most significant features — the bulk of the parental controls, the filtering of inappropriate content, the hours upon hours of audiobooks and family-friendly music — all of those are not a part of the Echo Dot Kids Edition itself. Those are features of Amazon Kids and the Amazon Kids+ subscription, something you're going to want as long as you let your kids use an Amazon Echo.
Amazon Kids+: what sets the Kids Edition apart
Amazon Kids+ is a one-stop-shop for family content and expanded parental controls for every device in your house. Amazon Kids+ has free and paid tiers of service. The parental control features you can use for free are:
- Parent Dashboard to review activity, pause Alexa, set time limits and bedtimes, filter age-inappropriate content from sources like Amazon Music and Spotify
- Share content you've purchased or subscribed to — like Amazon Video purchases and Spotify music — with your child by giving them access via Alexa
- Help shape kids' manners by rewarding them when they ask nicely and say 'please' when asking questions
- Voice Shopping disabled by default, to avoid your little ones ordering snacks every time they get hungry
Without Unlimited, the content sources the Echo Dot can access with a kids' account are somewhat limited, which is why Amazon Kids+ subscriptions exist. Here are some of the Amazon Kids+ features that can entertain your child:
- Ad-free radio stations and playlists for kids by Radio Disney, Nick Radio, and Amazon
- Hundreds of Audible audiobooks, including Disney stories and classic fairytales
- Premium Alexa skills and games from Disney and Nickelodeon, including alarms with popular kids characters
- E-books, movies, TV shows, and age-appropriate games on Android, iOS, Kindle, and Fire tablets
While the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a 1-year subscription of Amazon Kids+, once that year is up, the service will run Prime members $3/month for its "Single Child" plan and $7/month for a "Family" plan, which has room for up to four children.
One year of the Amazon Kids+ Family plan is $84, which makes an Echo Dot Kids Edition essentially free if our family uses the service regularly.
Endless entertainment for the whole family
This rainbow ice cream sandwich of a speaker is ready to meet your family and answer all those curious questions your kids have about life and animals and the universe. Amazon Kids+'s robust parental controls and quality content ensure your kids can enjoy Alexa safely.
Amazon Kids+ (From $3/mo at Amazon)
The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a year of Unlimited, but keep in mind you'll need to pay for it after that year is up or eliminate many of the skills and content sources available to your kid.
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Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.