lab / Can children learn Phonics with Amazon Alexa?

To help planet earth with the search of alien words join Commander Alexa Jones and her crew.

Technology is an important aid to education. As more of our daily lives involve technology we need to teach the next generation how to get the best out of it.

Phonics and learning language

As parents, we are always looking for new ways to help support our children alongside the curriculum they learn through school. Do you hear your children talking about Alien or nonsense words when going over school work? Ever wondered what they are talking about?

Alien or nonsense words are not real words, it is a teaching method used in schools. It is used to teach children how to decode larger words. This method helps children build up muscle memory. Alien words are one of the methods used alongside phonics where they learn about sounds, diagraphs and split-diagraphs.

As children finish foundation and move up to year one, they start to work towards their Phonics screening. Alien words make up part of this test. That is why support and practice at school and at home are so important.

Why did we build this

We wanted to build a tool that would encourage children using technology for games to try an educational tool that is fun for them to identify alien words through play. We wanted it to be something that children and their families could practice together over breakfast or over dinner whilst also having fun.

Importance of story telling

The best Alexa skills are very simplistic in their interactions, Alien words is no exception. Because of this we realised the importance of building a story, having great characters and generating an immersive experience.

To help planet earth with the search of alien words, Commander Alexa Jones and her crew are in collecting the words and sending them back to the children here on planet Earth. Can your children help Commander Alexa Jones with this mission and identify if the words are alien words or real words lost in space?

We think this will be a great daily game for families to play together to sharpen their skills, there were a few that stumped us. Head over to the Amazon Skills Store and enable Alien Words so your children can help this mission.

How to play

An invaluable tool to support their learning at school. To get started all you need to do is say

‘Alexa, play alien words’

You are given 5 words chosen at random to listen to and answer if you think it is a real word or an alien word.

Do you think green is an alien word?

You just need to simply answer either

‘yes or no’

Did you miss the word or just want to double check what you heard? No problem, you can hear the word again before answering. All you need to say is


And Alexa will repeat it for you.

This is version one

We believe in getting technology in the hands of the users as quickly as possible, and what you will find is that the skill is very simple, which is part of the charm of Alexa, this is a base we can build on. We have a lot of ideas of how we can aid children and education with fun games and even with alien words.

We see how we can merge the digital voice world and the real world but we need to learn from you. So please, if you can spare some time please email your thoughts to [email protected].

Check out, where we will list all our education skills. Enable the Alien Words skills via the Alexa App Store.

Good luck with the mission