ChoreMonster Website Poster Image

ChoreMonster

(i)

 

Clever monster motivator helps families track tasks.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about setting and completing goals. The system can help them be responsible and learn to follow through on commitments. Chore assignments provide practice reading and following directions. Keeping track of their points can also help kids hone basic math skills. They may also learn initiative, time management, and problem solving skills when figuring out how to complete tasks. Parents need to provide instructions and feedback -- the system won't -- and some may wish there were more ways to communicate with kids. But even without those extras, ChoreMonster works as a helpful tool to encourage kids to tackle household chores.

Positive messages

Kids earn points for completing parent-assigned tasks and can exchange them for rewards.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

The site's FAQ warns that it may use potty humor; however, references seem to be fairly tame -- like kids jokingly being given a pair of dirty underwear instead of a prize when they spin the Monster Carnival prize wheel.

Consumerism

The site used to offer a premium option but is now free; parents can, however, choose items that are for sale on Amazon as chore completion rewards.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids log into this reward-based task tracker site through their desktop or a mobile app with their username and password. Adults are supposed to register first and then add kids by entering a name, username, and password for each child Parents can also upload a photo to their profile -- but kids can't. Parents can also opt to receive activity alerts via e-mail once a day or in real-time.

Kids say

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What's it about?

ChoreMonster is a virtual tool designed to help kids age 4 to 12 identify and complete chores, while letting parents monitor kids' progress. Adults enter specific tasks and point values; the system tracks kids' work, and parents approve it when chores are done. The site includes a few nifty motivators to get kids excited to help out around the house. Parents enter points for each task and identify rewards kids can earn when they accrue a certain amount; kids also get to spin the Monster Carnival wheel on the site when they finish a task to win a virtual monster or zany consolation prize. Kids can use points they've earned for TV time, ice cream, and other pre-determined rewards.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

CHOREMONSTER gives both kids and parents a fun model for improving motivation and getting things done in a timely manner. You can currently choose chores from a list or enter your own, select a point value, enter instructions, and choose a deadline (or no deadline). While not everything is customizable, parents still have a lot of options: you can opt for chores to be automatically approved and can add extra points for any you feel were done particularly well. You also pick the potential rewards kids can redeem -- adding something Amazon sells or a prize that doesn't cost anything, like video game time or a hug.  

The system is well-planned: Kids and parents see totally different screens, and kids' profiles clearly list completed chores and points they've earned. Parents can also receive weekly chore and reward stats, if they'd like to. Kids can't, however, seem to easily see chores that are due tomorrow or later in the week, which could hinder the amount of planning and time management skills they can learn. Kids also can't really comment on chores, which might help them convey how they got things done for parents to provide improvement tips and encouragement. Adding more correspondence capabilities and long-term chore charts would help kids utilize more skills. However, if you're looking for a way to trigger and track kids' household, homework, and other responsibilities, ChoreMonster still packs a solid punch.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss how creating a schedule can help you complete tasks. What steps should you take to make a plan?

  • Ask your child to identify a project or chore and describe how to get it done. Are there any aspects that could be changed or eliminated to make the process more efficient?

  • Talk to your kid about the importance of asking questions to clarify instructions. If directions were unclear, how would your child get clarification?

Website details

Subjects:Language & Reading: following directions, reading, using supporting evidence
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, strategy
Self-Direction: effort, time management, work to achieve goals
Genre:Educational
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Pricing structure:Free

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written bykellymorrison April 24, 2014

Compelling app makes rewarding easier

My 5 and 8 year olds are both drawn to this app for a few reasons: first, because there are clear rewards with photos and a clear and easy point system; second, because MONSTERS. There is this really simple "spin the wheel" feature that enables kids to potentially win a virtual monster that does very little, but my kids really like it. Because my kids don't have constant access to their own devices, I usually end up giving out the rewards, which is kind of cumbersome since I can't give points for specific chores from my login--I have to log back in as my kids and then log back in as me to approve the chores. But other than this one issue, this is a really solid and well-designed app.