Amazon introduced Alexa Skill Blueprints, tools to add jokes, houseguest instructions, or other custom content to the voice-activated software without learning how to code.

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Amazon is making it easier to tinker with Alexa.

The Seattle company on Thursday introduced a slate of templates that can be used to build custom apps for its voice-activated software. Called Alexa Blueprints, the guides let users write answers to custom questions — say, “what’s the best city in the world?” — or set up trivia and games.

There are also more practical options, like programming instructions for a babysitter or house guest.

The Alexa software, most often found in Amazon’s Echo-branded speakers, already has thousands of custom applications, called Skills, built by independent software developers and corporate technologists.

The new Skill Blueprints functionality is an effort to open up that kind of customization to people without a background in software. Unlike Skills, which are offered through a central marketplace to the tens of millions of owners of Alexa devices, Blueprint functions are limited to devices connected to a user’s Amazon account.

Twenty-one templates were available on Thursday, and Amazon says that selection will grow.