ChoreMonster, the app that helps plan kids’ chores and reward them for completion, has just launched a new free-of-charge version offering a more interactive program, with the reward system directly linked to the Amazon e-commerce site.

ChoreMonster app rewards kids for carrying out household tasks

The spread of digital technology combined with access to mobile devices from a very young age provides many opportunities for startups working in the education field. Many educational apps have appeared on the market, including most notably Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for higher education, plus online teaching tools designed specifically for a young audience. Establishing good habits can begin in various different ways, but maintaining them successfully usually depends on having a system which fosters discipline, and of course motivation plays a major role in keeping up these good habits in the long term. ChoreMonster, a company based in Ohio, United States, last year launched a website and mobile app designed to help parents assign their children tasks and motivate the youngsters to do them. The app has now already logged over three million chores since January 2013 and the ChoreMonster company, which is funded by a number of venture capital firms, received $1.5 million in Series A funding in August.  Meanwhile the developers have been asking parents for their views on how the ChoreMonster site and app could be improved, and the result is a new version launched on 3 April, containing a number of improvements based on parent feedback.

Making chores both fun and rewarding

Parents can use the app to assign their children tasks and the kids use the app to log when they complete their set chores and to receive rewards for accomplishing them. Parents set the timetable for when the chores need to be completed and set up the corresponding rewards. As a child performs chores, s/he gains points which can be exchanged for such goodies as a ticket to the Monster Carnival, where they can win and collect monsters in the app, or a real life reward such as an hour of TV, a new Lego set, an ice cream, etc. Among the many enhancements inversion 2.0 of the app –which has dropped the subscription and is now totally free – arenew monster animations and interaction possibilities; ‘Points Boost’, which enables parents to award  points to their children for doing a chore that was not specifically requested; the ‘Brag Bar’ where parents can talk up their kid’s accomplishments in ChoreMonster and have them posted on the social networks; and directintegration with Amazon for easier and immediate redemption of the incentives. In addition to English, ChoreMonster is now available in French, Spanish, Italian and German. The service is available in web format and on iPhone and Windows 8, and there is now also a version for the iPad.

A modern view of upbringing

Having reached a critical mass of consumers, ChoreMonster has now changed its monetization strategy for the new version, offering the service free of charge and looking to monetize its service through branded sponsorship videos. The intention is to provide a softer, less intrusive way to incorporate some advertising while still adding value with videos in lesson format. ChoreMonster thus offers parents a modern approach to bringing up their children. The app is designed to mimic traditionally verbal parent-child interaction, via the mobile service. It is intended to give youngsters a sense of responsibility and the option of taking their own initiatives. It motivates kids to do their chores without any moral rationale, focusing instead on self-interest, which essentially means approaching bringing up their children in the same way a company might offer its customersa loyalty program. ChoreMonster’s objective is basically to ‘gamify’ chores for kids and help parents by giving them an alternative to having to repeat the same demands over and over again. The company, which is now planning to extend the range of devices it supports, promises that there will be a native app for Android phones ready in May.

By Manon Garnier