Should my child be doing chores? A classic parenting question that has a potentially different response depending on who you ask. For some parents, children should focus on schoolwork and extracurricular activities instead of taking care of things around the house. And for other parents, folding laundry, taking out the trash, and keeping common areas clean are character builders that teach important life skills.
An article published in Wired magazine asserts that children who routinely do chores around the house are much better at managing time, delaying gratification, building strong relationships with family members, and learning valuable and practical skills to be used outside of the home. These types of executive functioning skills such as time management, focus, and self-awareness are key to success in many academic and non-academic circumstances. So if you want to start integrating chores into your children’s day-to-day lives but are wondering how to get the process started, try turning the process into a fun competition or game. Here are three apps we recommend for gamifying household chores:
For younger children, starting with personal care can be a good way to introduce them to chores. Making their bed, picking up their toys, and brushing their teeth are all good ways to ensure that, even at a young age, they understand that everyone in the household has responsibilities. For personal care, Pokemon Smile is a great way to turn one of these chores, brushing your teeth, into a fun and interactive game. The app uses the camera function like a mirror to show your child what part of their teeth to brush and how quickly. The “bacteria” on their teeth is represented by purple creatures who are taking over the Pokemon on the screen. By brushing their teeth, they can rescue and catch those Pokemon.
Pokemon Smile is available for Android and iOS.
Epic Win is the perfect way to turn a boring “To Do” list into an adventure. The app is very easy to use and is appropriate for both children and adults. You start the app by choosing an adventurer and naming them. The user then simply adds the tasks to their list, sets an alarm if necessary, and then checks them off as they are completed. Each task can be assigned a certain number of experience points based on their “difficulty.” So if your child hates doing the dishes, you can choose to assign that chore more experience points than something they don’t mind doing such as taking out the recycling. As they earn experience points, their character gains experience and earns items and treasure as they adventure on. Epic Win features fun cartoon-like artwork and a rousing soundtrack, making even the most mundane chores fun and exciting.
Epic Win is available on Android and iOS.
If you decide to give your child an allowance for completing chores, an app is a great way to teach them to keep track of their money. According to an article in the Washington Post, simply handing a child money doesn’t teach them anything. But giving them their allowance via an app or prepaid debit card teaches them delayed gratification, saving, and giving to charity. One app that can help children understand these skills is Rooster Money. Parents can set the reward system for the app as a monetary amount or stars. When a child completes their chores, they receive their allowance on a day of your choosing. Children can also choose to “bank” their stars or money for larger purchases or a donation to charity.
Rooster Money is available for Android and iOS.
What ways do you and your family integrate chores into your daily routine? Is there an app you love to use that we didn’t mention? Share your thoughts in the comments below!