Build an Alexa skill that educates, entertains, and engages kids under 13

Alexa, who would win in a fight, a lion with a knife or a bear with an antler made of ice?” Alexa, the voice service behind Amazon Echo devices and Alexa-enabled products, now supports skills for kids under the age of 13. Which is a good thing, because kids have a lot of questions that need answering.

We invite developers from around the world to create Alexa skills for kids. If your skill makes the grade, you could win big.

So what are we looking for? Here are some ideas:

  • Educate – Inspire wonder. Foster kids’ creative problem-solving skills. Cheer them on for a job well done.
  • Entertain – Bring them into the action with interactive experiences. Make it fun. Make them laugh.
  • Engage – Make a strong first impression. Keep their interest. Make it useful so they want to keep coming back.

Your skill can be any or all of these things. It can engage one child or several. It can even get the parents involved. We have resources to help you get started.

 

Webinar Recap: How to Build an Engaging Kid Skills for Alexa

View full rules

Eligibility

This competition is open to:

  • Individuals, and teams of individuals from around the globe, as long as they are not on the excluded country list or from a country where local law prohibits, who have reached the age of majority[1] in their country of residence at the time of entry. Please see the official rules for details.
  • Individuals 13 to 17 years old in the US or Canada who: (1) have a parent or guardian submit their skill in the Amazon Developer Console on their behalf under that parent or guardian’s account, AND (2) provide a signed consent form from the parent or guardian that lists all minor(s) for whom the adult is submitting the skill.

Employees of Amazon, Devpost, and contractors currently under contract work for Amazon or Devpost are not eligible.

Software partners and those receiving funding or assistance from Amazon for application development are not eligible. Any application that is or was funded or compensated, partially or fully, by Amazon for its development is not eligible for entry.

[1] Age of majority – the threshold of adulthood as recognized or declared by law; most countries set the age of majority at 18 including the US, UK, Germany, and India  

Requirements

Main Requirement: Build an Alexa skill that educates, entertains, and/or engages children under the age of 13.

Submission Package: A skill description, video demo, and other information must be submitted on the Devpost website by January 10, 2018 at 5:00pm ET to be considered. For a complete list of requirements, see the Official Rules.

Certification: The skill must be submitted to the U.S. Alexa Skill Store by Jan. 10, 2018 at 5pm ET and it must PASS certification by January 17, 2018 at 5pm ET to remain eligible.

 

How to enter

How to Enter (Age 18+) 

  1. Register for the Alexa Skills Challenge: Kids on Devpost.
  2. Sign up for an Amazon Developer Account
  3. Review the Resources page to learn more about the Alexa Skills Kitdesigning for voice, and submitting your skill for certification.
  4. Build your skill!
  5. Host your skill on AWS Lambda (recommended), or another hosting service of your choice. You may apply to receive $100 AWS promotional credit.
  6. Include your Skill ID from the Skill Information tab in your developer account. Here's where to find that.
  7. Shoot your demo video and take screenshots of your functioning skill. Review the rules for video requirements! 
  8. Submit your skill on AlexaKidSkills.Devpost.com AND submit your skill for U.S. Alexa Skill Store certification before 5:00pm ET on January 10, 2018. Here’s how to do that. (Your skill must pass certification before 5:00pm ET on January 17, 2018.)

 

How to Enter (Age 13 - 17 from the U.S. and Canada only) 

  1. Register for the Alexa Skills Challenge: Kids on Devpost.
  2. Ask your parent or guardian to sign for up an Amazon Developer Account.
  3. Ask your parent or guardian for help with your submission on AlexaKidSkills.Devpost.com. This will include providing a signed consent form enabling you to use their Amazon Developer Account. The submission form must include your Skill ID once you’ve built it (here's where to find that). It will also include a demo video and screenshots of your functioning skill. Review the rules for video requirements.
  4. Review the Resources page to learn more about the Alexa Skills Kit, designing for voice, and submitting your skill for certification.
  5. Build your skill!
  6. Host your skill on AWS Lambda (recommended), or another hosting service of your choice. Your parent or guardian may apply to receive $100 AWS promotional credit.
  7. Ask your parent or guardian to submit your skill on AlexaKidSkills.Devpost.com AND submit your skill for U.S. Alexa Skill Store certification before5:00pm ET on January 10, 2018. Here’s how to do that. (Your skill must pass certification before 5:00pm ET on January 17, 2018.)
  8. Have questions? Contact us at support@devpost.com.

Judges

Alice Steinglass

Alice Steinglass
President, Code.org

Ashley Andersen Zantop

Ashley Andersen Zantop
Chief Content Officer, Capstone

Jason Yip

Jason Yip
Assistant Professor, University of Washington Information School

Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant
Founder and CEO, Black Girls Code

Kurt Beidler

Kurt Beidler
General Manager, Kids and Family, Amazon

Stefanie Schwartz

Stefanie Schwartz
Senior VP, Digital Partnerships, Nickelodeon

Steve Rabuchin

Steve Rabuchin
VP, Amazon Alexa

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the Idea
    (including creativity and originality of the skill)
  • Implementation of the Idea
    (including the user experience such as its ease-of-use, whether it performs as expected, includes fresh content, etc.)
  • Potential Impact
    (including the extent to which the skill can engage, entertain, and/or educate children under the age of 13)
  • Quality of the Submission Package (Round 1 only)
    (including the description, video demo, and any other materials submitted to Devpost)
  • Customer Engagement (Round 2 only)
    (a variety of factors are considered such as minutes of usage, new customers, recurring customers, customer ratings, and more)