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12 smart home devices that make great Valentine’s Day gifts


  • Price: $60
  • Tech specs: Tap gestures | Temperature sensor | Eero built-in | Parental controls | 1-yr Amazon Kids+ | 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.7 inches

If you have kids and an Amazon Echo device in your home, then you probably already appreciate having a smart voice assistant with children. 

My kids love asking Alexa and Siri questions and jokes — especially asking them to turn on “party mode,” which triggers our living room’s lights to change colors and start playing the Trolls soundtrack. This new Echo Dot Kids with parental controls is perfect for that.

Why they’ll love it

The 5th-generation Echo Dot Kids is a visually attractive speaker, with an Owl or Dragon character on the speaker, and it’s the perfect addition to a playroom. Visuals aside, kids will also love Alexa’s capabilities. 

The Echo Dot Kits come with a one-year subscription to Amazon+ Kids, which offers access to kid-friendly Audible books, interactive games, and educational Alexa skills. Plus, the voice assistant can even help them with homework.

You’ll love The Echo Dot Kids for its parental controls, too. Alexa can intelligently filter explicit songs and ensure kid-friendly responses. The Parent Dashboard can also control daily time limits, see recent activity, and lock emergency contacts for the kids to call in an emergency. 

This device works as a smart voice assistant, an Eero Wi-Fi extender, and as an electronic educator for children. Your kids can ask Alexa questions and jokes, buying you 20 minutes to read this article, among other ZDNET gift guides.


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