How to Create a Child-Directed Skill

Daniel Siewert Sep 07, 2021
Kid Skills

Creating a skill for children is challenging but it can be a very rewarding experience. Since the kids category has enhanced eligibility requirements, you should check the additional guidelines carefully before starting developing your skill. This blog post will help you to get an answer to the most important developer questions during the creation of your first kids skill.

What exactly is a child-directed skill?

If the content of your skill is targeted to children, you need to mark your submission as child-directed. First of all, let’s clarify the two different age definitions for children in the Alexa supported countries. In the US, India, or Canada all users up to 13 years old will be considered as children, and in the UK, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and Australia, all users up to 16 years old will be considered as children.

Factors to consider in determining if a skill is directed to children include:

  • subject matter of the skill
  • presence of child-oriented activities and incentive
  • type of language used in the skill
  • music and other audio content in the skill 
  • how the skill is described and marketed
  • intended audience for the skill

If you are distributing your skill in the United States, please refer to Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC's COPPA Guidance and FAQs for more information.

What kind of content do I need to avoid?

Once submitted, your child directed skill will be reviewed to ensure it does not…

  • …promote any products, content, or services, or directs end users to engage with content outside of Alexa.
  • …sell any physical products or services.
  •  …sell any digital products or services without using Amazon In-Skill Purchasing.
  • …collect any personal information from end users.
  •  …include content not suitable for all ages.

How can I submit a child-directed skill?

Once you decided to design and publish a child directed skill, you will need to answer “Yes” to the question, “Is this skill directed to or does it target children under the age of 13?” This also applies to countries in which persons up to the age of 16 are considered as children according to the local law.

You can find this option in the “Distribution” tab, within the “Privacy & Compliance” section:

Privacy and Compliance

If you decided to mark “No”, but our certification team observed some content aiming at children according to our current guidelines, they may reject your skill and ask you to update the check box.

At this moment, developers creating custom skills within our kids category have enhanced eligibility requirements. For that reason, your submission might be blocked by our automated validation checks with the following message:


In this situation, you can seek an approval to build custom kids skills via the contact us form in the Developer Portal. Alternatively, you can also use our Alexa Blueprints portal to create a Blueprint kids skill, which is open to all skill developers. For more details, see our policy page.

Any final recommendations?

The way children speak and think might be very different from those of adults. Sometimes children may provide incomplete or mispronounced responses, or may respond inappropriately to a question. Your skill needs to handle odd commands suitably and must be ready for unexpected interactions

While designing your skill keep these simple rules in your mind:

  • avoid disappointing experiences
  • use child-friendly vocabulary
  • anticipate that children form their own unique responses
  • ask simple, direct questions
  • keep it positive and action-oriented

Feel free to visit our developer documentation for more detailed information about these recommendations.

After reading this blog post you are well prepared for your first kids skill. Our youngest users are already excited to see what thrilling experiences you will create for them!

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