An App That Prompts Children to Do Their Chores

ROY FURCHOTT, NYTIMES

As a preteen I was fascinated with a neighbor’s chore board. I recall a rotating wheel, color coding and a list of household assignments. It showed who was to do what task that week, and it had a points system that led to rewards.

Ah, the modern age. That chore board has been reborn as an iPhone app called ChoreMonster. It assigns work, tracks completion via e-mails to parents, and gives children points, which can be applied to rewards of the parent’s choosing.

The app is still in beta testing, and you can get it only with an invitation code. For now use the code “times” in the Web page’s upper-right-hand sign-in box to join.

Here’s how it works. A parent signs up for ChoreMonster online. A child’s name and age are entered, a password is set up, and a picture is added to the account.

Next, the parent adds a chore, picking from a list, like making the bed, feeding pets or picking up toys. Or a task can be made up, such as “eat your Brussels sprouts.” A schedule is set up for how often the task needs to be completed, then points are assigned for completing it, from 5 to 5,000. For eating Brussels sprouts, it needs to be in the 5,000 range.

Next a reward is added. Anything can be chosen — an ice cream cone, a movie, a trip to Disneyland — then “upload image” is clicked to add a visual reminder. I wrote “Frisbee with the dog,” and darned if it didn’t find several suitable images on its own. You can also browse your own collection of photos for one to add.