Amazon is leveraging its Alexa voice assistant to create Camp Prime, a collection of free summer activities for kids and families in lieu of summer camps closed by the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. Designed in a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Camp Prime provides a handbook for projects and a collection of video tutorials accessible online and through Alexa.
The digital Camp Prime Handbook is at the center of the project. The booklet, which comes in English and Spanish versions, is full of household activities include snack recipes, gardening tips, and flame-free campfires. For Amazon Prime members, there are also Camp Prime-specific videos, books, and music available through Amazon’s website. Alexa acts as a kind of adjunct to the camp. The voice assistant answers questions about Camp Prime and offers a daily fact or anecdote that kids can listen to in the morning. Alexa can also pull up the vidoe guides filmed by online influencers on smart displays. Lessons on crafts, dancing, beatboxing and other skills are taught by the social media stars in the videos.
“The past few months have challenged parents and kids alike, and I know many families, including my own, were looking forward to their summer traditions this year,” said Amazon Prime vice president Jamil Ghani in a statement. “That’s why we partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to bring families the Camp Prime Handbook. The handbook is free for everyone and is full of activities families can do with supplies easily found around the house. With the Boys & Girls Clubs’ 160 years of experience providing youth camps, we’ve created an experience that will help families make the most of this unique summer, building on Prime’s year-round goal to help make people’s lives a little easier, more convenient, and more fun every day.”
Camp Prime activities are aimed at families, so presumably will mostly involve adults talking to the voice assistant. That should eliminate the children’s privacy issues Amazon has dealt with related to Alexa that have led to lawsuits previously. Camp Prime is specifically for the Echo Dot Kids Edition, though it would make sense for parents with kids stuck at home to encourage their kids to use Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited service of kid-friendly voice apps. Alexa-enabled toys like the KidKraft Kitchen are also likely to appeal to parents looking for children’s activities that don’t require supervision.