How to enable parental controls on smart speakers – Reviewed

Kids and technology, especially Wi-Fi-enabled devices like smart speakers, can be a slippery slope. After all, you don’t want a smart assistant like Alexa accidentally rattling off inappropriate answers to your second-grader’s silly questions. With the right parental controls in place, devices like Amazon Echo, Google Nest, and Apple HomeKit smart speakers can be a convenient family tool.

These devices work as household intercoms, so you can conveniently round up your brood for dinner in one fell swoop, as well as a way to set reminders and alarms to keep kids on track (which, in my experience, leads to less nagging and better communication, especially on hectic school mornings).

Before placing a smart speaker in your kid’s room, there are certain kid-friendly parameters to enable. Here is how you can enable parental controls on smart speakers.

How to enable parental controls on Amazon Echo smart speakers

Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Amazon Kids parental controls can be applied to any of your Echo devices, but we like this kid-friendly fourth-gen Echo Dot for a fun and stylish smart speaker.

1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
2. Tap Devices in the bottom menu bar.
3. Tap Echo & Alexa and select the device you want to enable controls on.
4. Tap the wheel icon in the upper lefthand corner to open the device’s settings.
5. Under General, tap Amazon Kids.
6. Tap the button to toggle on Amazon Kids and follow the in-app prompts to complete the setup.

Amazon Kids requires a profile for each child during the setup process, which you then assign to the smart speaker of your choice. Amazon Kids is available on any Amazon Echo smart speaker or display. For a speaker with a kid-friendly design, check out the fourth-gen Echo Dot Kids, available in adorable Tiger and Panda designs. You can manage each profile via the Amazon Parent Dashboard.

Amazon Kids automatically enables features like Alexa Communication, allowing them to call anyone from an approved list of contacts with an Echo device or Alexa app, and links your current music service to the speaker (defaulting to the explicit lyrics filter). The service also ensures kid-friendly Alexa responses, like jokes, stories, and answers to questions. To make changes to your Amazon Kids parental controls, open up the settings for the device in the Alexa app.

How to enable parental controls on Google Nest smart speakers

Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Google’s parental controls work across smart speakers, like the Nest Mini, and smart displays, like the second-gen Nest Hub (pictured).

Parental controls are available for all of your Google Assistant devices like the Nest Mini smart speaker and the Nest Hub Max smart display. Unlike Amazon Kids, which allows you to enable parental controls per device, Google uses voice recognition to know when Assistant interacts with your child. If you live in a home with multiple speakers or displays, the blanket coverage can be a huge benefit.

Here’s how to enable parental controls for Google Nest devices.

1. Open Google’s Family Link app for iOS and Android. (Make sure …….



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