We are in 2019 now, blimey! So what better way to start off the year by giving you a list of my most powerful hacks I use in day to day life as a parent, which will help you in so many ways, sneaky as these might be! (you don’t have to tell the kids it can be our little secret)
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Firstly, let me start by asking if you own an Amazon Echo (Alexa)? …. if you don’t, then what the heck have you been doing with your life? This girl is my go-to! My sidekick, my backup. Hey, she could even pass off as a part of the family…. OK I wouldn’t go that far, but you get my point! She’s a pretty big deal in my household. Since the 3rd Gen release she graced my doorstep with some much needed – Well, everything! I can’t stop singing her praises & you’ll often find me telling other parents about her, because, I feel they NEED her too!
Alexa can do a multitude of things, initially I just wanted to purchase a speaker so I could listen to audio books/podcasts & radio while in the kitchen or working on something. So off I popped to my old trusty best friend Amazon & found out about the new 3rd Generation Echo that was being released, so I thought it was not much difference in price as a normal Mp3/WiFi speaker so why not give this a try? I’m SO glad I did!
This little robot can turn on & off lights, get your coffee ready, securely monitor your house with cameras. Announce dinner time, wake you up, put you to sleep, remind you to drink water, work out… remind you to pick up dry cleaning, if you’ve got Amazon Prime she can do your weekly grocery shop for you, order takeaways, help you in the kitchen & even fart 😀
Having everything you need with just a voice command is pretty neat! But I am only here to give you the goodies that I feel are valuable as a parent & to make your life little easier! You’ve heard the saying “there’s an app for that” Well, Alexa has a “skill” for that! –
Powerful Hack #1
Scheduling screen time –
If you’re a regular on my blog, you’ll know I don’t like screen time & try my best to not let it be a thing in my house. Having said that, it IS inevitable that some screen will be on at some point in the day. This is where my good cop bad cop Alexa comes in! (Her being the bad cop) I use her schedule tools to monitor my daughters TV watching, by actively turning off the TV when it’s time to get ready for bed or if I feel she needs a break to do some other activities. Without there being any disputes, I just simply put the blame on Alexa 😉 Using a Smart Plug I can get her to switch off the TV, either by voice, or sneakily using the app on my phone. You can also set up routines, which are great for bedtimes. I simply tell Alexa that my daughter needs to go to bed now & I’ve set her up to announce that it’s time to get ready for bed, she waits 3 minutes then turns off the TV – genius!
Powerful Hack #2
Getting out of the door –
Enable the (Out the Door) skill for Alexa, & she’ll turn your daily routine into an adventure, without the moaning & defiance! This skill makes getting ready for school in the morning a doddle! Just try it for a few days & you’ll see the difference it makes! While I will say it could do with a few personal tweaks as not everyone takes the same amount of time to brush their hair & so on, it is a powerful skill that needs to be tried!
Powerful Hack #3
Just get one of the kids to say their favorite phrase “I’m bored” to Alexa & she will give them plenty of ideas from a list of over 1000 activities to do! Or you could ask her to “open Super Nanny” & she will give the kids something to do… literally! Grab some craft materials, or play hide & seek, she keeps them entertained so you can get those little jobs done!
Powerful Hack #4
Set the scene
Weather it’s play, homework time or bed time, Alexa has it all, she can help the little ones with times tables, or even teens with coursework.
Having her play a book from Audible is a great way for children to really explore stories with animated sound effects, she can even get interactive & include your child’s name with her short stories. Amazon story time has a whole host of stories & bedtime classics to wind down to. One of my favorites is BBC Kids with CBeebies stories read by special guests like Dolly Parton or Tom Hardy…. I love a good bedtime….. story don’t you? 😛
I use Alexa in my daily life, she helps me with managing my time, keeps me from procrastinating by giving me little reminders, helping with cooking or listening to some Quran recitations & even saying my Duaa (prayers) before I sleep. I wish I could tell you more about all of the amazing skills Alexa has to offer, but you’re going to have to discover those for yourself! – Unfortunately she can’t do the dishes, but she keeps you company while doing so! 😉
Hey! Have you got yourself an Echo/Alexa? What are your most productive skills? & If you’ve not purchased one yet, let me know WHY? In the comments below & don’t forget to share!