Amazon today announced the launch of the first Alexa skills made especially for kids, with skills from Sesame Street, SpongeBob SquarePants, and others.
Geared toward children six and older, the SpongeBob Challenge is a memory game that invites kids to take orders from customers at the Krusty Krab restaurant in Bikini Bottom. Made by Nickelodeon, this skill features the voices of actual SpongeBob characters.
The Sesame Street skill lets kids call Elmo to do activities like learning letters and playing hide-and-go-seek.
There’s also Amazon Storytime, which features stories read by Aidy Bryant from Saturday Night Live and Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob. Additional story readers will be added in the future. The stories are designed for kids 5-12 and were created by the Amazon Education Consumer Team.
Other skills for kids due out soon include Old McDonald, Silly Things, Animal Sounds Quiz, and Zoo Walk.
These aren’t the first Alexa skills made for kids — in fact, Short Bedtime Story was one of the most popular skills of 2016. They are, however, the first to use Verified Parental Consent, a one-time request through the Alexa app that verifies a kid has permission to use the skill. Permission can be granted through text message authentication or by providing credit card information. The child’s name, age, and birthday are required to complete the process. Also announced today, Alexa skills developers are now free to create skills that require parental consent.
The Alexa Skills Store now has more than 18,000 skills made by Amazon, businesses, and third-party developers.