In news that will make most mothers shake their heads in sarcastic surprise, a recent study cited by The Wall Street Journal shows that the number of 9- to 12-year-olds who help with household chores fell 9 percent between 1997 and 2003. The researcher, Dr. Sandra Hofferth, believes the drop may be in part because children are playing more video games.
However, all hope is not lost for moms and dads looking for a little help around the house. Mobile apps that fuse chores and gaming may very well provide a middle ground for parents and kids.
ChorePicker by ChoreMonster helps parents find age-appropriate chores for their children to handle. Once a task has been selected by the parent, creative Illustrations provide step-by-step instructions, making it fun for the child to complete it. You Rule Chores creates a weekly race in which siblings compete to see who completes the most chores. After each task is finished, kids receive digital coins that they can add to their wish list for an allowance or reward.
For younger children who need visuals or have difficulty transitioning between tasks, the PictoPie app can be used at home or in the classroom. The app uses drag and drop functionality with pictures to show the child what tasks need to be done throughout the day, while timing each activity. As the iPhone Mom.com wrote on her blog, “I thought that the PictoPie app was a great concept...If you have a child who is a visual learner or could benefit from a pictogram schedule.”