You can find plenty of skills in the Amazon Alexa Skills Store. With everything from those that help you manage your smart home to others that entertain you, there are many Alexa skills for kids and adults.
However, you may be looking for something in particular. Maybe you want a trivia game about your family, a fairy tale where your child is the star character or a guide to your home and neighborhood for a houseguest.
Well, guess what? You can make your own skill using Alexa blueprints. Here’s how!
Browse Alexa Skill Blueprints
You can view and choose a blueprint on the Blueprints.Amazon.com website as well as in the Alexa mobile app. This makes it easy to create a skill on almost any device because a blueprint is basically a template.
Browse through the categories for At Home, Amazon Kids Recommended, Learning & Knowledge, Fun & Games, Storyteller, Greetings & Occasions, Communities & Organizations, and Business.
Select a blueprint to view more details and check out examples. This helps you see how the babysitter blueprint can help when you’re away, or the family jokes blueprint can liven up quality time.
If you find one you want, pick Make Your Own on the skill information screen.
Create a Skill
The steps are the same whether you’re creating a skill with a blueprint on the web or on your mobile device. However, those steps may differ depending on the type of blueprint you select.
For instance, you’ll enter different information for a birthday trivia skill compared to one for flashcards, the pet sitter, or bedtime stories. You can see these steps when you select a blueprint to view its details.
To show you just how easy it is, we’ll create one on each device.
Make a Chore Chart Skill on the Web
For this first example, we’ll use the Chore Chart blueprint to create a skill on the website. This skill helps keep track of household chores and who is responsible for each one.
- Visit the Alexa Blueprints website, sign into your Amazon account, and choose a blueprint.
- As described above, select Make Your Own directly below the skill name. If you see a short tutorial for building the skill, choose Start Now when you get to the end.
- Next, you’ll be prompted to replace the details for the skill with your own. For the Chore Chart, we’ll fill in the names of our household members and chores.
- Select Next on the top right to move to the next step.
- Here again, you may be asked to enter more details for the skill. For the Chore Chart blueprint, we assign the chores to the household members. Just keep in mind that the number of prompts and requested details depend on the exact skill and blueprint.
- Select Next to continue.
- One step that you’ll find in most blueprints is for customizing the experience. This refers to how you interact with Alexa for that particular skill. For instance, you can enter introduction phrases for when someone opens the skill and then other phrases for when someone completes a chore. These are the phrases Alexa uses for that specific skill.
- Select Next to finish entering the details.
- The final step in creating a skill is to give it a name. Try to use something meaningful that you’ll remember but also something simple enough for Alexa to recognize.
- Select Next one last time to create the skill.
After a few moments to process all the information, your skill should be ready to use!
Make a Whose Turn Skill in the Mobile App
For this next example, we’ll use the Whose Turn blueprint to create a skill in the Alexa app. This skill prompts Alexa to choose whose turn it is to do something.
- Open the Alexa app on Android or iOS and select the More tab.
- Pick See More in the top section and choose Blueprints.
- Browse the options by category, just like on the website. Then, select the one you want to use and tap Make Your Own.
- Replace the details for the skill with your own. For the Whose Turn skill, we’ll add the names for Alexa’s choices.
- Tap Next on the top right to continue.
- The next step for the Whose Turn skill is to personalize the experience. This allows you to customize how Alexa picks a name. After you ask a question, Alexa uses the phrases and sound effects you select in this section. Optionally, you can scroll down for additional customization options.
- Tap Next to name your custom skill.
- Select the text on the name line to edit it or enter your own. Again, pick a meaningful name and one that’s easy for Alexa to recognize.
- Tap Next to create the skill.
You’ll see the progress as your skill is created and a confirmation when the process completes. You can tap the X on the top right to exit when you finish reviewing your skill.
Edit Skills You Create
Once you create a skill using Alexa Blueprints, you may want to make adjustments to it. You can do this on the web and in the mobile app too.
Your Skills on the Web
- Visit the Alexa Blueprints website and sign in. Select Skills You’ve Made at the top.
- You’ll see a list of your skills. Choose Details to the right to open the one you want to edit.
- On the right side, select Edit or Delete. You’ll notice you can also pick Share With Others to make it easy for your family or friends to access or Publish to Skills Store for other Alexa users.
Your Skills in the Mobile App
You can edit your custom skills easily in the Alexa mobile app as well.
- Go to the Menu tab.
- Select See More > Blueprints.
- On the Your Skills tab, select the blueprint you want to edit.
- Use the buttons at the bottom to make your changes.
Take Advantage of Alexa Blueprints
Even though there are many premade skills you can pick from, creating your own Alexa skills gives you great ways to personalize the experience on your Alexa devices, get tasks done, or have a little fun!
So, what’ll it be? Family trivia with your Amazon Echo, a custom Q&A on your Echo Dot, a sci-fi story in the Alexa mobile app, or something totally different? Let us know!