Jun 24, 2011

how I got my kids scrubbing the floors...

so, I was on the hunt online for a chore chart for my kiddos (ages 3, 5, and almost 7 {yikes!}) I wanted something simple and with pictures so the kids could "read" it even if they can't read.  I stumbled upon Handipoints.com which looked like a website where you could customize chore charts and print 'em up...
but, it turned out to be more than that.  First off, you sign up to become a member (it's freeee) Then,  each kid gets to pick a cat avatar, and cat name {we used such creative names like "snowball" and "catty" haha}  The kids can mark off their charts after they're printed OR they can mark off their charts online.  When they mark off their charts online they get "bonus points" which they can use to buy furniture to decorate an online room for their cat avatar {think: webkinz or barbie.com}

I don't know about your kids, but my kids are crazy about decorating their pretend houses.  So, my kids had marked off their charts with all the stuff they had done the day before and still didn't have enough bonus points to snatch up the furniture they wanted...so, I informed them they could mop the kitchen floor or clean the bathroom to earn more points.  And VOILA! they went for it!  They all did several chores that they wouldn't normally be thrilled about doing.  But they earned bonus points! and they loved it!  we'll see how long this lasts!

Here's an example of what the kids are excited about earning :)

-kids are excited to earn points
-they're not complaining about some things that they normally would be (because they get points)
-I can endlessly customize the lists (ie: go potty on the potty chair, be nice to your sisters)
-I can easily add points when the kids do something I think is good (my 6 yr. old filled up her own water bottle before dance class without asking so I gave her some bonus points :)
-It's free, and the kids aren't bugging me for any tangible rewards
-the kids are cleaning the house and keeping it clean :)

-you have to log in seperately for each child (they make it easy enough, just kind of a hassle)
-I don't know how long they'll be excited about decorating the rooms
-there are pages dedicated to buying dress-ups for your cat avatar- but apparently, these are for the paying customers only (5 yr. old a little sad about that)
-there's a whole bunch of social interaction parts of the site (we just skip that part entirely, though)
-the kids want to be on the computer during their free time now :/

There are also a bunch of games that the kids can play on the site, we haven't ventured into that very much (nor do i plan to)  There are different places on the map that we are just beginning to explore which the kids think are fun...but are mostly a waste of time, haha :)

I don't know what you're supposed to do here...get back to work! ;)

Overall, I think it's pretty great...the kids are trying to figure out what they can do to earn bonus points, they're making their beds, picking up their toys, sorting laundry and putting their dirty clothes in the dirty clothes basket (hallelujah!)  we'll see how long it lasts! :)

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