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Use Alexa to Make Animated Kids' Stories on Your Amazon Echo Show. Here's How

A new feature uses AI to let kids create their own tales.

child gazes at Amazon Echo Show device using Alexa create a story feature
Kids can ask Alexa to guide them through making short stories. 
Amazon

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET's collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

Amazon's Create With Alexa is an AI-powered feature that enables kids to compose stories with animation and music. Available on Echo Show devices in the US, the tool invokes Alexa to guide children through selecting characters, themes, color schemes and music. The process results in a "five- to 10-line story, told across five unique scenes that are complete with sound and visual effects," the company said in a news release when the feature launched on Nov. 29.

Your child can simply ask Alexa to make a story, and AI begins to generate the narrative, landscape and sound. Alexa is described as a co-creator, and kids are walked through the process of choosing a theme such as "enchanted forest" and picking character types and names. They can also select adjectives and facial expressions, and the final story will play out. Parents and kids can then save their stories to a gallery for future playback. 

According to Amazon, the story will switch up each time, even if a child enters the same details from previous stories. The company is also working on the ability to share stories with friends and family. In an effort to protect privacy, parents must give consent for the Create with Alexa tool on devices. 

We'll walk you through how to create an animated kids' story on your Amazon Echo below. (You can also check out which Alexa settings you should change ASAP, and 5 hidden Alexa features.)

How to create a story with Alexa

Here's how kids and parents can call on Alexa to build a story using a supported Echo device. Note that as of this writing, English is the only language available for "Create with Alexa," but all story templates are free. 

1. Say, "Alexa, let's make a story."
2. Follow the prompt to choose one of three themes or allow the app to surprise you.
3. Select your main character, then tap the screen or say its name aloud to Alexa. You may also opt to be surprised.
4. Specify a color scheme.
5. Choose expressive adjectives like "silly" or "mysterious" to set the tone.

Alexa will then produce and play back your story, complete with musical elements and animation. Save it to your child's personal gallery to watch later. While bedtime is a great time to enjoy this feature, your child can launch a new creation at any time of the day. 

For more, check out the 50 best Alexa skills that help make your life much easier, and how to set up Alexa routines.