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How to turn chores into an exciting game?

We all this dream about seeing our kids getting up, doing their chores without us asking. What a beautiful dream. I’m not saying all of them don’t do their chores willingly, I’m just saying that kids normally hate doing chores and we need to ask them repeatedly.

In my previous blog post, I mentioned a few headlines about what gamification is, why children hate chores and how to use gamification to encourage them to do their chores.

Now that we all know that chores are different from one age to another, here you can have some ideas of chores that can be gamified.

But let’s go step by step.

If you didn’t read my introduction about gamification in chores system then check it out

and make sure you check what you should/shouldn’t do in gamification.

How do we assign a chore to our children?

  • Age

Things that are suitable for 12 years old, can’t be done by a 6 years old child. Unless the child is brilliant, then you should assign each task to a suitable age.

  • Capability

I know that some of us have a child with different capabilities, if the child has hand ache or leg ache, or can’t hear well, then we can’t assign to them chores that need these parts of them.

We should consider the differences between our children before taking the next step.

  • Realization

Does your child realize what you’re asking him/her to do? Or they’re too young or their brain functioning needs to take it in smaller bits.

  • Previous training

Did you train your child to do this chore or did you ask him/her to do it without previous training?

You can’t tell your child “Here I’ll give you 5 points for washing dishes” and you didn’t even teach the child.

  • Model

Be the model who your child looks up to when the child is doing the chores.

Asking the children to clean after them, fix their bed, not to throw the clothes on the floor while YOU do it will not help. Children need parents to be a model.

  • Given time

Set a realistic time for the task to be done. Asking 10 years old to wash plates, do bed, remove toys…etc in 30 minutes is a bit harsh.

What are the general chores we ask our children to do?

  • Personal chores:

Those are the chores that are directly related to the child.

Doing bed, removing toys, putting shoes away, bringing their dirty clothes to the laundry room….etc.

  • Family chores:

The chores that are related to the child and family. Its as if asking the child to help a family member but its related to the child too.

For example:

Watering plants, playing with the pet, organizing the living room, helping with emptying shopping bags…etc

  • Extra chores:

Anything that the child does it as extra. Let’s say the other child is ill, so the first child might kindly help with his brother/sister chores although he has nothing to do with them.

What does gamification have to do with these different chores types?

Now when the chores aren’t similar and they all serve different purposes, the rewarding, challenges, points, levels…etc system in the gamification needs to consider these.

It’s unfair to give a 14 years old boy 4 points for dishwashing, and 1 point for an 8 years old boy for bringing his plate to the dishwasher??!!

Different abilities should have different tasks as I mentioned previously.

What are the elements in gamification to use with chores?

  • Points:

These are the rewards for each task individually. Set a fixed amount of points for each task and adjust it depending on the ideas mentioned previously.

Tip: There’s a difference between fairness and equality. You can’t ask different children with different abilities to do the same task with similar points. Each child should adapt and do the task at their own pace and ability.

  • Achievements:

The child gets an achievement when he/she reaches the final point in several related chores.

For example, I play video games, one of the games I can be a physical fighter, magical fighter, crafter of 8 crafts, the gatherer of 3 types.

So, if I hit the highest level in all 8 crafters, I get an achievement for that. If I get the highest level for all gatherers that’s another achievement.

So related jobs will unlock an achievement.

  • Titles:

Titles normally come with achievements. Do you remember when I said I unlock an achievement by hitting the highest level with all crafters?? That gives me the title “Grandmaster of the hand”, and for hitting highest level for gatherers I get the title “Grandmaster of the land”

So, think of something related.

Gamification 2: Creating a Badge

  • Rewards:

Rewards should cover 3 parts:

  1. They shouldn’t cost a lot.
  2. They should be desired by the child.
  3. They should hold emotional and valuable into it.

In the end, it’s nice to give them something they want BUT they shouldn’t forget that those chores were something they must do, and it’s not an extra on them.

Ideas to apply gamification into our chore system

  • Weekly dishwashing championship

You can use a record chart and hang it in the kitchen. Every time one washes his dish put the name with the gained points on the board.

The bonus could be if he /she washed someone else’s dish after washing his dish.

  • Bed Fixing Guru of the month

Every time the child wakes up fixes his bed then tick next to his name in the chart, or you can use a different method to count points.

  • Toys Goal

This is a title for someone who puts away the toys without you asking.

This, of course, would happen after they play and puts away the toys immediately.

Tip: if you happen to step on a toy on your way to the room, give a warning. As in football game, 3 warnings = taking away the toys.

  • Daily Garbage taker Ninja

We know we {before the children} hate taking the garbage out. But if your child takes the garbage out you can give generous points and give a title as a ninja or something exciting for the child.

  • Laundry Tinker

Laundry needs putting the clothes in groups (clean – dirty – white – dark – bright) so it is a professional kind of job.

So, a child who does all of that is a tinker who does the small important stuff and talented.

  • Super Pet Man

Playing with the pet at home or in the garden or walk the dog with you …etc. is a nice job when you are busy and can’t do it yourself.

If the child does it by themselves then they deserve points.

Summary

Gamification can be a great way to encourage children to do their chores.

We should consider the different types of chores and the differences between our children.

Each gamification method has essential elements to make it work well.

You should consider a few points when setting your game and the challenges related to the chores game.

You can apply gamification the way you want depending on your children’s preferences.

Tell me, what ideas got into your mind to apply to your kids’ chores?