Voice

LEGO Uses Alexa To Help Kids Learn Through Play

Lego duplo stories alexa

Image credit: LEGO

Did you ever have one of those choose-your-own-adventure books as a kid? There was nothing more exciting than flipping to different pages of a book to steer the story into a whole new direction.

Now take that same story-building concept and replace the book with an Amazon Echo. That’s Lego Duplo Stories.

Alexa, start Lego Duplo Stories

In a Newsroom post on Lego’s website, the company announced the launch of their new (and free) Lego Duplo Stories Alexa Skill designed to delight children aged 2-5 with interactive storytelling.

Using either the Echo or the Echo Dot, both children and adults can follow any of the ten story themes for Alexa to guide them through each step. During the story, Alexa will give prompts so that the child can build something and choose where the story will lead next. They can play along using any set of Legos and even without any Legos at all.

Not only does this skill keep the little ones entertained, it also stimulates their imagination, motor skills, and language and social skills.

“The new LEGO DUPLO Stories skill is one of the first Alexa skills to bring together physical play with interactive audio content, allowing preschool kids and the adults in their lives to build stories and creations together.” Says James Poulter, Head of Emerging Platforms & Partnerships at the LEGO Group.   

How to use Lego Duplo Stories

Let’s say you’ve just arrived home from work and your kid isn’t half as tired as you are. Instead of dragging yourself through an hour of playtime, you turn on your Amazon Echo and say,

“Alexa, start Lego Duplo Stories.”

Alexa kindly welcomes you both to the skill and asks you to choose a category: animal stories or vehicle stories. You settle on the couch with your phone while your kid gleefully yells, “Animals!” From there, Alexa walks them through the adventures of a little bird who needs somewhere to live. She asks what color the bird is, to which your kid replies, “Yellow,” and is prompted to build a house for the yellow bird.

After a few minutes of questions, suggestions, and prompts, your child ends up with an array of unique Lego creations and has practiced his colors, numbers, shapes, and pronunciation.

While children will certainly play with practically anything, not all educational games interact with kids as naturally as Lego Duplo Stories. As James Poulter explained in the Newsroom post, “Voice is such a powerful tool for play as it is one of the most human ways of interacting. Long before we can type, read or control a device, we listen and speak."

Learn more about LEGO’s voice tech

James Poulter himself will be giving a keynote at – you guessed it – VOICE summit where he’ll talk about LEGO’s approach to Voice and Conversational AI, along with how voice tech is shaping the future of play. Get your pass here and don’t forget to follow VOICE on Twitter to catch those rare tweets with special discount codes.

Alexa, Voice Technology, Voice Assistant, Smart Devices, Alexa Skills, Conversational Design

Jenny Medeiros

Written by Jenny Medeiros

Jenny is an engineer turned tech writer with hands-on experience in VR, AR, video game development, and UX-focused web design. Nowadays, she partners with tech companies to help explain emerging technologies simply. When she's not writing, she's likely daydreaming and forgetting her tea.

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