5 Ways to Gamify Your Kids’ Activity

Pile of household cleaning items for chores
Via Pixabay

At the end of the day, children who help around the house are more responsible, have higher self-esteem, show more empathy, and mature faster. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a fun experience for them (and you)! Using rewards, incentives, or just their natural competitive nature can get your little ones moving and grooving in a way that gets important jobs done!

The newest trend in family productivity is ”gamification”, or turning work at home into a game. Whether it’s homework or daily chores, there are plenty of fun ways to make the “boring” labor a bit more exciting. Here are 5 ways to gamify your kids’ activity.

#5: Turn Chores Into Challenges

Child putting toys away in room
Via Popsugar

Chores are essential to a home’s progress, cleanliness, and even the sanity of those who live inside. They keep the days moving without clutter, dirt, or frustration. And there are ways to encourage the kiddos to stay involved and up-to-date on their chore charts without pestering, nagging, or throwing in the towel and doing it all yourself. Make chores into a challenge!

Who can fold the clothes the fastest? Everyone gets a room—who cleans it from top to bottom first? Who can dust the woodwork at the speed of light? Who can put away more toys first? Motivate your children by creating a “game” of getting things done around the house. It’s simple, costs nothing, and will get the kids off the couch when procrastination decides to kick in.

#4: Provide Incentives

Of course, incentivising the chores can work too. You can pair this idea with the challenges above for extra “gamification”, or you create a chore chart—where once a certain amount of chores have been completed, a prize or some other type of reward is given.

You may even want to try using different levels of rewards, such as: an ice cream date with Dad, 20 extra minutes of screen time, getting to choose the family movie for the evening, or even a new toy.

#3: Utilize Apps

Yes, there are actually apps you can download to make gamifying your children’s chores simpler. Some of our favorites include:

  • Habatica: An app that combines real-life with fantasy. Everytime you knock off something from your everyday to-do list, you gain new rewards within the game. The entire family will love amping up their “Habitica” world while being productive in their day-to-day lives.
  • Superbetter: All about motivation, Superbetter will build stamina and add resilience to your kiddos’ everyday lives. From creating daily healthy habits to helping overcome anxious moments, it helps in so many nooks and crannies of life.
  • Homey: This one is perfect for the family that pays out cash for hard work around the house. Within the app, you can track which chore is worth what amount of allowance, track what tasks have been completed, and see when payments have occurred.

#2: Make it Musical

Children singing while completing chores
Via Popular Science

Crank up the tunes and have the entire family involved with an Encanto sing-a-long while the laundry is being put away, the bonus room is being tidied up, closets are being purged, the pantry is getting reorganized, or the garage is getting an overdue decluttering. Sometimes, all you need is a bit of tunage to get everyone working towards the same goal.

Of course, you can use music for games like “musical chores,” as well. Everytime a new song comes on, you switch to a chore that another family member was doing. That way, no one has to do just one thing for the entire “cleaning” playlist.

#1: Offer a One-Week “Chore Pass”

This one counts as an incentive, but it’s just too good not to have its own place on this list. Have your kids work for a set period of time to earn a week off. In real-life, we take vacation time, right? Well, they can get a taste of how hard work pays off when they get to kick up their feet with this “one-week chore pass” incentive.

However you want them to work toward their goal is up to you, but the reward remains an effective way to motivate—just like it is for adults. This is especially true for older children, who are already becoming aware of the responsibilities they’ll face as adults.

Want more tips for keeping your kids productive? Check out our other parenting tips.