It’s ideal of course that parents be the ones to read with their young kids when they’re still trying to get the hang of reading and developing a love for books. But in cases when kids want to learn independently, technology is there to help them out. Amazon is adding a new Alexa feature called Reading Sidekick for kids aged 6 to 9 that will help them not just develop a love for reading but also to help them practice reading on their own and become stronger readers.
All you need is an Echo device that has enabled Amazon Kids and an Amazon Kids+ subscription. There are currently hundreds of books in the Reading Sidekick library and they can use supported physical books and ebooks as they read along with Alexa. They first have to say “Alexa, let’s read” and then say the title of the book they want to read. Alexa will then ask how much they want to read, a little, a lot, or taking turns.
When the child says a little, Alexa will be doing much of the reading and will ask them to read some short parts every once in a while. A lot means the child will do most of the reading, with four sentences, paragraphs, or pages and Alexa will just read one. The taking turns mode does what its name says, with the child and Alexa alternating pages or paragraphs, depending on the book. There are books for new readers and some for advanced readers as well.
Alexa can help encourage the kids to read by praising and encouraging them. It will also help them when they’re struggling with a word or phrase. Parents can see their child’s progress in the Amazon Kids dashboard where they can see how many books have been read, the amount of time they read, and other important information. Of course reading with the child is the best but for Alexa is still there to help put.
The Reading Sidekick feature is available for Echo devices with Kids enabled. Amazon Kids+ subscription costs $2.99 per month and gives them access to age-appropriate content on Amazon.