Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

If you’re thinking of getting the Amazon Echo Dot, here are a few good excuses.

**disclaimer: I was not asked to review the Amazon Echo Dot, and I am not being paid for this post. Our family just really enjoys using it!**

During a recent visit with some family, we were introduced to their Echo Dot. My kids got a real kick out of hearing her play “Jingle Bells” and various other songs and kept asking her about the weather and to tell us a joke. We decided that for $50, we wanted one of our own. We ordered it the next day and it arrived and we have been putting it to use ever since. My kids just love talking to “Alexa.”

“Alexa” is a voice-controlled virtual assistant who wakes up when you say her name. While we don’t take advantage of many of the features the dot offers, she is still a great fit for our home.

Here’s why the Amazon Echo Dot is fun, useful, and great for kids.

You can ask her anything.

While she may not always know the answer, you can ask her an array of questions about various topics and she can usually give you the scoop. My kids like asking her questions like, “Where is Disney World?” and “What’s the weather today?” She can spell words and do math problems, too.

She will listen.

Alexa doesn’t mind being bossed around.  She listens to us when we tell her to play a certain song. She also sets timers for us if we are cooking or counting down til it’s time to leave home for an errand or to drive to preschool.

She makes us laugh.

Half of the time, she has to ask my children to repeat themselves due to their unclear speech. There are hilarious miscommunications between Alexa and my kids, like when she continually plays the unedited version of Jay Z’s “Hard Knock Life” instead of Annie’s sweet version of “It’s a Hard Knock Life.” I have to say “Alexa, STOP!” countless times a day.

Alexa also makes us laugh because she is always down to tell us a good joke. All you have to do is say, “Alexa, tell me a joke” and she has lots of good ones up her sleeve.

She can help with the bedtime routine.

While I haven’t utilized most of these features, Alexa can execute the bedtime routine from start to finish. She can play lullabies, act as a white noise machine, and even gradually dim the lights. While I really enjoy reading and singing with my kids, I can see that some people may  enjoy her help at bedtime.

She reinforces good manners.

Alexa is pretty darn tolerant. While it’s easy to fear how bossy your child may become after continually telling Alexa to “play music” without so much as a please or thank you, Alexa does use her manners. When my son says, “Alexa, we’re home” she greets us with “Welcome home.” She also apologizes if she can’t understand my children’s request or question. Sometimes I wish she was a little less tolerant and would maybe request a “please” before following their command, yet I still think she leads by example and I hope my children’s manners don’t fall by the wayside.

Alexa has made an impression on our family – she is extremely child-friendly. Keep in mind that she is designed for adults and teenagers and there are no parental controls at this point. We have a lot of fun with her and find her pretty helpful and good for some laughs, too. Is she a necessity? No, like most technology she is not. However, we are very glad we have Alexa and appreciate a lot of the features she offers.

Do you have an Amazon Echo Dot? If so, what are your favorite features?

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Tags: family