Wondrwall and Alexa for Families
Chances are that most parents, at one time or another, have had their buttons seriously pushed by their children’s dependence on technology. Consequently, the arrival on the market of new tech, designed with kids in mind, can be as welcome as a wasp at a barbeque.
Every now and then, however, a product emerges that can actually enrich our family life, rather than sucking the joy out of it. At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, we’re confident that Wondrwall, built on the Alexa platform, will do exactly that.
The beauty of an intelligent home is that it does a lot of the domestic brain-work for you, leaving busy parents with more time to focus on the things that matter. It can also give valuable peace of mind to parents – letting them know, for example, when children have arrived safely home from school. Couple Wondrwall’s brain power with Alexa and you have a formidable force for good, ready to take on some of family-life’s biggest challenges.
Recent studies have shown that smoke alarms can fail to wake children in the event of a fire with around three-quarters of those tested, sleeping through their own smoke detectors. Children are more likely to be roused, in the event of a fire, by a spoken voice and flashing lights and Wondrwall knows this. Recognising that a home’s fire or carbon monoxide alarm is going off, Wondrwall flashes lights and sounds a spoken voice alarm to improve the chances of a safe evacuation in the event of an emergency.
If, like Mr Incredible, you’re feeling out of your depth in the homework department, enlist Alexa to beef up your children’s knowledge in a fun and engaging way. Two skills to look out for are The Queen’s Mathematician whose big claim is to make maths fun, through numerous games and puzzles. Also worth a look is Science Buddy which asks multiple choice questions on a range of topics including physics, biology and energy.
ENCOURAGE YOUR BUDDING ENTREPRENEUR
The Best Educational Skill in the 2018 “Alexa Skills Challenge; Kids”, was Lemonade Stand which simulates growing a small business, starting with a $5 float. The player is given the weather forecast for the day and must then make decisions on their lemonade recipe, pricing and advertising budget.
It’s a great way to get them tuned in to the basics of business with profit in mind.
Settling arguments is the bane of every parent’s life and wading into family disputes can sometimes do you more harm than good. Next time you are called on for your wisdom in a domestic wrangle, take a deep breath, put the kettle on and summon Judge Lexy instead. Via the skill Kids Court, which was actually the overall winner in the “Alexa Skills Challenge; Kids”, Judge Lexy will resolve disputes in a fun way, taking the tension out of situations and administering “punishments” such as standing on your hands. Kids Court also gives children a basic knowledge of the legal process by using terms like plaintive and defendant.
AND SO, TO BED…
Bedtime can be magical…it can also stretch us to our limit at a time of day when energy levels are plummeting. OK, so enlisting the help of a virtual assistant wasn’t in your original parenting manifesto. Give Alexa the once over, though, and you’ll see she has some useful skills designed to bring back harmony and take a little weight off Mum and Dad’s shoulders.
There are several skills aimed at tooth brushing, probably the best being Chompers. It aims to keep kids brushing for the recommended two minutes and rewards regular oral hygiene by keeping track of their “streaks”. Finally when our little darlings are safely tucked up in bed, try mixing things up with one of the many adorable skills like Short Bedtime Story which reads a quirky tale personalised with your child’s name ahh…..