Since the huge success of Skylanders, many toy makers are searching for ways to bring AR (augmented reality) and digital components to physical toys. LEGO has found amazing ways to tie apps and their building blocks together, like the LEGO Boost set.
New Alexa Skill: LEGO Duplo Stories
Last week LEGO announced a new way to interact with their building sets. The company released a new Alexa skill that combines physical play with Amazon’s Alexa voice service. LEGO Duplo Stories is an interactive storytelling experience to ignite fun explorative play for the youngest children, aged 2–5, and their parents.
According to the company, children can use any Alexa device, such as Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, to access 10 themes based on new and existing LEGO DUPLO products. Together with their parents, toddlers can choose between five vehicle or five animal stories, and determine the outcomes of the story, while guided by Alexa. The different stories will teach different skills such as building, exploring, numbers, colors, and speech.
How to activate LEGO Duplo Stories
To activate the skill, open the Alexa app on your phone, and bring the menu up and select “skills”. Search for LEGO and click on LEGO Duplo Stories. Click the Enable button. Once it’s enabled you can ask Alexa on any of your Echo devices to start or play LEGO Duplo Stories.
According to the press release, the newly released stories include:
- The Truck Story – The big truck is happy because it gets to work at the brand new construction site in town. The work includes building a house and knocking it down again, only to build an even bigger house. Learning: Language and motor skills, follow instructions, build and rebuild
- The Plane Story – The plane is going on vacation. It can go to a warm or a cold place and needs to pack for the right temperatures. It will only takeoff and head to its special destination once a snack has been prepared. Learning: Language and motor skills, role-play, building.
- The Car Story – The Car Story can be about a race car or a repair shop. The former focuses on how to tune your car for a race and the latter challenges your mechanic competences when a friends’ car breaks down and you have to fix it. Learning: Cognitive and motor skills, problem-solving, colors (red light, green light).
- The Boat Story – The Boat Story can be about a fishing trip or a journey. On the fishing trip you must catch fish with your net and on the journey, you will have to pack for mixed climates and discuss the animals you see on your travels. Learning: Language and motor skills, problem-solving, roleplay.
- The Train Story – The train is ready to start the day but needs refueling before it can leave the station. Help by building a fuel pump. The train starts its journey but must suddenly stop when an animal is about to cross the tracks. Learning: Language skills, animal sounds, colors, instructions.
- The Rabbit Story – The rabbit meets his/her new family of pets (dog, bird, and cat) and despite their differences, they bond through play and by exploring each other’s interests, such as favorite food. Learning: Social skills and role play, exploring differences and concept of friendship.
- The Cow Story – The farmer has gone to town for the afternoon, and the cow and the roaster can play however they want. So, the cow wants to drive the tractor and the roaster wants to take a bath in the water trough. Learning: Social and cognitive skills, roleplay, imagination, animal sounds, identifying characters.
- The Cat Story – This story can go two ways depending on what you prefer. It can be a story about a family cat or a farm cat; the former wanting to be pampered and the latter wanting to build a fortress from hay bales for its friends. Learning: Language skills, colors, roleplay, imagination, animal sounds.
- The Bird Story – The bird loves to go on adventures, but really needs a place to live. When the bird house has been built it can go on adventures and fly around until it lands on a special spot. The spot is a great place for a playground. Learning: Language skills, colors, motor skills.
- The Dog Story – The dog just woke up and is eager to start playing. It starts jumping around and is trying to figure out if it should go for a walk, play fetch, chase a cat or do tricks. Learning: Language skills, focusing on different activities, roleplay, choose directions, motor skills.