Yesterday I told you about a new way I’m talking to our kids about chores. That is something I definitely plan to continue, but I’m are doing that in addition to regular household chores, not instead of.
There are several reasons for this, but a big one is financial. In order for my kids to earn money, they do work around the house. They have daily, semi-weekly, and weekly chores that they are responsible for. Since I have 4 kids doing chores, it’s hard to keep up with who is doing which chore, how frequently each chore is supposed to be done, and how much money each kid has earned.
That was all a problem UNTIL I found the ChorePad app for iPhone and iPad. I’ve been using this app for over a year, and it has by far been the best tool for teaching my kids responsibility (both in doing their chores and in earning money) that I have ever used.
First, here’s a quick overview of its features, and then I’ll tell you what I like best about it:
You start on an overview page where you can see each child that you have already set up, as well as add new users and change other settings. I’ve let my kids set their own pictures, which is why “Jacob” is a very pretty baby in this screen shot.
The kids check off their chores as they are done, and stars and checks are automatically added. They get trophies based on the amount of checks they earn, and the stars allow them to buy rewards. I will say, I didn’t expect the trophy thing to be a big deal, but my kids love it – especially my super-competitive boys.
The kids can purchase their rewards under the “payout” option.
You can add new chores, specify which days they should be done, and how many stars the user will receive for each chore.
You add your own rewards and specify how many stars each one is worth.
That’s a rough overview of the most basic features in the app. It’s bright, colorful, and fun for kids to use. It also manages to stay functional and streamlined, which makes it easier for adults to use. Everyone stays happy.
One difficult thing to manage in our household is the amount of time kids spend watching TV or playing the Wii. This has been a very helpful way to manage that – I’ve made “watch TV” one of the rewards, and they are required to buy the time to watch a show or play the Wii. This serves two purposes – it limits the amount of time the spend on mindless activities – and it also keeps me from giving them huge wads of cash at the end of the week!
I love that you can set different amounts of stars for different jobs – it’s obviously much more difficult to clean the bathroom than it is to brush your teeth. On our reward payout, I had even put a “penalty” option before their most recent update. Now, there are actually “bonus” and “penalty” options in the app – this is very effective for my kids. When they start dawdling (on their schoolwork, household chores, anything really), I will tell them: “You have five minutes to finish this job. Every minute after that, I will take away one star until it’s finished.” Astonishingly, within minutes, the room is cleaned, the book is found, or the schoolwork is done.
Try it out yourself!
If you can’t tell, we love this app. It’s probably the most-used app on my iPad. It gets daily use – at least. That’s why I’m so excited to be able to give away four codes for the app – two codes for the iPhone version and two for the iPad version. To enter, leave a comment letting me know how you currently manage your kids’ chores. I’ll choose a winner at random*. The giveaway ends on Friday, February 24, so don’t wait!
Update: I heard from the nice people at ChorePad that they are working on a Web version (due out in the spring) and an Android version (planned to release sometime late summer).