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Synopsis: In this article, I compare the Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot [3rd Generation]. I’ll include a helpful comparison table so you can quickly see the key differences between the two.
🍂Fall 2019 Update: Amazon totally refreshed the Dot Kids Edition over the previous model 👍. The design was upgraded as well as the technology, which includes dramatically improved sound quality and two new color choices. If you simply want a summary of the main differences between the kid and adult version of the Echo Dot here they are:
The Echo Dot Kids Edition was designed for kids and their parents. It is more durable, has more parental control options, and includes a one-year Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Plan with content curated especially for children. It also comes in kid-friendly colors, includes a carrying case, and has a longer two-year warranty.
Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot 3rd Gen: Head to Head
If you have children and are thinking about introducing them to the wonderful world of Amazon Alexa, this article is for you.
Of course, you do. They’re kids!
Alexa is pretty bright, and she gives kids the ability to listen to music, hear stories, play games, and much more. Plus, she makes an epic homework helper for kids and parents alike.
However, there is some content out in Alexa-land that is NOT appropriate for children. And you don’t want your kids ordering up an Uber—or 1,000 pizzas.
Enter the Echo Dot Kids Edition
This colorful little smart speaker comes with everything that’s good about Alexa. Best of all, parents/guardians get multiple controls to monitor and limit what kids can do.
Let’s take a closer look at how Dot Kids Edition stacks up against the adult version of the smart speaker.
Comparison Table: Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot
The following table shows how the Echo Dot Kids Edition compares vs the latest edition of the Echo Dot [3rd Generation].
You can compare the products side-by-side on desktop computers and most tablets. If you are viewing this on your smartphone, you will see a separate table for each product.
Brett from Check the Tech does a great job in this video explaining Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot. Nice drop-in demo, man!
Seven Kid-Friendly Differences
The Kids Edition offers seven key benefits over the standard version for kids and their parents or guardians who love them. They are detailed below.
Difference #1: Parental Controls
The Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot comes with a ton of features geared toward parents to give them more control over the content that kids are exposed to. These include the ability to:
- Set daily time limits
- Review your child’s activity
- Automatically filter explicit songs
- Select the best music services for your child
There is a special parent dashboard that lets parents or guardians log in to adjust settings and review a child’s activity. See difference #4 below.
Amazon has a great FAQ here that explains how FreeTime and Alexa work together to protect your child’s privacy.
Difference #2: More Colors
There are different color choices from the adult version of the smart speaker. Brighter kid-friendly color options include the fun rainbow pattern pictured above and it also comes in blue.
The blue one totally reminds me of Blues Clues. Who do like better Steve or Josh? They both sported equally bad striped shirts!
Difference #3: Amazon FreeTime Unlimited
Echo Dot Kids Edition includes a one-year Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Plan that has tons of kid-friendly content.
FreeTime Unlimited includes thousands of age-appropriate songs, hundreds of Audible books [like Beauty and Beast, Tom Sawyer, Peter Pan], games [like Name That Animal, Disney Personality Quiz], and activities [like The Queen’s Mathematician, Batman’s Heroic Adventures, Disney Sing-a-long] for kids of all ages. Plus, you get special content from networks that kids already love like Disney and Nickelodeon.
Difference #4: Parent Dashboard
Kids Edition includes a Parent Dashboard that lets mom, dad, or guardian monitor use and commands greater control over content.
While all Echo devices support some degree of parental control, the dashboard available with the FreeTime Unlimited subscription makes monitoring use easier.
For example, you can pause content, limiting content to PG-13 or lower, or schedule Alexa on and off hours [so the kids can’t keep talking to her after bedtime], You can also put restrictions on online ordering.
Difference #5: Kid-Friendly Documentation
The next difference between the Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot 3rd Generation [and 2nd Gen] smart speakers is the documentation. The Echo Dot Kid’s Edition comic-book-style documentation is appropriate even for the youngest of readers.
Difference #6: Longer Warranty
Amazon brilliantly extended the warranty for the Kids Edition. They know that kids break stuff. And more parents will buy the Dot Kids with additional peace of mind. Amazon’s generous, two-year “Worry-Free Warranty” ensures that the Echo Dot will be replaced even if the kids break it one year and 364 days from now.
Difference #7: Carry Case
Finally, the Echo Dot Kids Edition includes a carry case so kiddos can take it with them on a playdate or wherever they may roam.
Hot Tip: Few people realize that you can get an external battery for the Echo Dot. This way it can be used outside or even in the car [requires Internet hotspot].
What Kids Can Ask Alexa [Examples]
There are literally hundreds of games, activities, stories and much more through the FreeTime Unlimited trial. Alexa has some great skills for kids built-in natively too.
Today’s Parent has a great list of 30 fun things that kids can ask Alexa.
Here are some of my favorite examples of things kids can ask:
Just say: Alexa, Read me a Dinosaur Story.
Ask: Alexa, Do you know any jokes about bunnies?
Say: Alexa, Open Disney Stories.
Ask: Alexa, Can you play Kids Hits playlist?
Or: Alexa, Open SpongeBob Challenge.
Say: Alexa, Play True or False.
OK, one more. Ask: Alexa, How do you spell pterodactyl? [Yes, I needed to ask her too.]
Is It Worth Upgrading a 1st-Gen Kids Edition?
In a word, yes. If you already bought the 1st generation of the Kids Edition, you may have noticed that it sounds a bit “tinny” in comparison to the newer-gen smart speakers.
To me, this is worth the upgrade for this reason alone. This counts double if your kid likes music or if you have included the speaker as part of a multi-room music set up. Also, the color choices are cooler too [although I did like the punch red color from the older model].
Generally speaking, the features are pretty much the same. What the newer model gets you is the updated design, and latest [better sounding] generation of the technology from Amazon.
Setting Up An Echo Dot for Kids
Setup is essentially the same for both devices using the Alexa App. It’s super simple. You just plug in the Echo and do what Alexa tells you. Listen to her instructions and follow the prompts in the app.
For the Kids Edition, you have some additional options to set up parental controls. If you have trouble with setup, get the kids to help! 😉
You can feel free to reach out to me as well.
Best for Youngsters: Echo Dot Kids Edition
Because of the benefits stated earlier, the Echo Dot Kids Edition really is the best choice for the younger set.
The actual age range is really going to depend on the developmental needs and maturity of your child. The Echo Dot Kids Edition might be a hard sell to a 15-year-old, but it really depends on your kid.
Amazon’s Video Intro – Echo Dot Kids Edition
While this video is a bit dated featuring the previous generation of the Echo Dot Kids Edition [discontinued], it really is well done, and most of the benefits are the same. The new speaker sounds much better.
Best for Older Kids [and Adults]
Amazon’s recent improvements to the design and sound of the Echo Dot 3rd Generation [now with a cool LCD clock] smart speaker make this our choice for the older kids and adults.
Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot – Your Turn
We hope you found our review and comparison of the Echo Dot Kids Edition vs Echo Dot helpful.
Do you plan on buying a Kids Edition of the Echo Dot for your kiddos? If so, which color do you like best? I really did have a thing for the Punch Red one in the older version- sad to see it go. I’ll leave the Hawaiian Punch guy here for nostalgia reasons.
Or maybe your kids are older, and you are thinking of getting the standard version of the Dot?
Please let me know by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Oh, and if you could please social share this using the buttons at the top and bottom of the page if you found it useful. Thank you for your support!
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About the Author
Tim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger
Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. You can learn more about Tim here.