Posted Aug 12, 2020
This article is sponsored by Amazon. CertifiKID receives compensation from companies whose products and services we recommend to our audience. However, we only promote businesses we genuinely believe in and feel will appeal to our subscribers. Olga Butler is a CertifiKID team member, she has been using the Echo Show 5 at her home and has provided an honest review of her opinion.
The past few months spent at home with my family have changed my view on how everyone is occupying their day. Life as we knew it changed overnight; gone were the early morning meetings, mad dash to the bus stop, carpools, social activities, gathering with friends and dining out. As the time has gone on, and not yet returned to normal, I find myself worrying more and more about the kids' daily routine. What will this school year look like? Will they learn enough from online school? Will I have to find supplemental learning?
The TV and devices have seen more screen time then ever before. So the last thing I thought we needed was yet another tech gadget. That was, until I got the Amazon Echo Show 5 Bundle with FreeTime Unlimited, which has filled our extended stay at home with new ways to keep busy while learning without even knowing.
My household is multi-generational. If you need perspective, we’ve got ya covered with a Boomer, a couple of Gen-X’ers, Gen Y and two highly opinionated Gen Zs. Needless to say, the littles in my crew were excited to unbox the Echo Show 5. Straight out of the box I was drawn to the size and appearance. I got it in sandstone but it is also available in charcoal. The minimalist design allows me to put it in any room in the house and it would fit in some small spaces with no problem. We chose to put it in our family room. Set up was easy. Plug it in and follow the on-screen instructions to connect to the Internet. Once we were set up, I downloaded the latest version of the Alexa app onto the device, which is necessary to enable FreeTime Unlimited.
Then three magic words changed the game: “Alexa, open FreeTime”. FreeTime Unlimited unlocked a selection of fun stories, games, music and educational skills geared to kids of all ages. At first, I wasn't sure what a skill was but soon discovered they're apps to choose from. My seven-year old son lit up when he saw some of his favorite characters like Marvel and DC super heroes, Star Wars, SpongeBob and Ben 10. I knew I had him when he shut off Fortnite to explore the skills and try a few.
We went on a trip around the globe with Jenny, our tour guide. Complete with music and cultural facts, Jenny asked questions and shared pictures and facts about so many countries. In MasterSwords, he brushed up on his spelling by having to spell words correctly to retrieve swords. Skills like Amazon Math, Lemonade Stand, Fairy Tale Feud and Hey Arthur all challenged the kids to use math, spelling and memory skills. I was truly impressed with the supplemental learning tools that have been implemented in these skills. It didn't even feel like learning because the kids were having so much fun.
My three-year old daughter just loved dancing and singing along with Baby Shark and the Disney Sing-Along. Before bed, the kids got in some story time with Disney’s Rapunzel and Hi! Fly Guy. Both kids were attentive and wanted to read more stories. After calling Alexa’s name so much, I realized that it was helping them speak more clearly and project their voices so Alexa could hear and answer their commands. The time my kids spent exploring music and skills in FreeTime Unlimited was indeed a break from hearing “Mom, I’m bored."
The adults in the house were drawn to the music. Using the Alexa app, you can connect your music streaming service like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, deezer, Pandora and Vevo to the Echo Show 5. My husband and I watched some videos on Vevo and jammed out to some tunes from the 80’s. Of course, the kids got a kick out of some of our funky 80’s dance moves.
As far as we’ve come with technology, my mother still enjoys listening to FM radio on an old boom box (surprisingly, these are still around). Imagine her excitement when she learned that she could connect to her favorite local radio station through TuneIn Local Radio. Thankfully, there will be no more static and fiddling with the antenna to get a good signal.
When in sleep mode, The Echo Show 5 displays a clock and up-to-date weather forecast and other possible questions to ask Alexa. You can choose a pre-set screen saver or even personalize your Echo Show 5 background screen with your own photos like I did. The display also dims when the sun set and brightens up in the morning with the sunrise.
Connecting with family is now easier. After trying out our Echo Show 5, we gifted one to my brother so the family can see and talk whenever they want to. Of course, I recommended he sign up for his own FreeTime Unlimited account so their family can enjoy all the features and experiences as well. Plus, the Drop In feature will be put to good use as we are spread out around the house most of the time and yelling up or down has become the common way to communicate. My Echo Show 5 can connect with other compatible Alexa devices so now all I have to do is drop in on the kids in their rooms or in the basement to chat in real time, allowing me to save my voice for Friday night game night when we challenge the kids to a game of Nickelodeon's Watch Your Words.
Now that staying at home is the safe thing to do, the Echo Show 5 and FreeTime Unlimited are definitely must haves. The fun and activities are truly endless for kids and adults. This is not just another gadget or clock on a shelf; it was made to fit your life. Trust me, your family will love it and now with this limited time offer you can get the Echo Show 5 Bundle with FreeTime Unlimited for 40% off!
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