Smart Apps For Android: REVIEW: ChoreMonster - empower and reward children for contributing around the house (best free Android apps for kids)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

REVIEW: ChoreMonster - empower and reward children for contributing around the house (best free Android apps for kids)

Bottom Line: ChoreMonster is a fantastic tool for organizing and keeping track of your children's contributions at home. Not only does it track chores, but it can also be used to monitor homework, music practice and creativity time to help motivate and reward children who make an effort to set goals and make progress. ChoreMonster is a must have app for today's busy families and has everything you need - for free with no more to pay.

Price: Fully FREE                     Size: 26.6MB


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App explained: ChoreMonster is a new release to Android and is a useful tool for assigning chores to and rewarding children. The app has both adult and child login screens so any chore set up by the parent is not tampered with by the children. Parents can add multiple children, assigning each one their own set of chores. ChoreMonster is completely customizable giving parents the option to enter the name of the chore, choose the points value, due date, frequency, time of day the chore is performed and an image taken from the devices photo, gallery or google search. There is also the option to add a note by Dad or Mom, that may remind them that the bin needs new liners or that an extra scoop of ice-cream is deserved for a job well done. Finally, in that section of the app, there is the option to auto approve the chore.

When children log in to their part of the app, their dashboard shows the four sections available to them: chores, rewards, tickets and monsters. When a chore is completed, the child finds the chore in the chores section and taps the thumbs up symbol. If not completed, the thumbs down symbol is chosen. Then the child will be rewarded with points, either automatically using the auto approve option or manually by the parent. Children can see clearly from their dashboard how many chores still need to be done and how many tickets they have earned. With each completed chore, children are given a ticket to spin the lucky wheel in the hope that they win a monster for their collection. When enough points have been earned, children choose a reward from the options that were set up earlier by their parent.

What makes this app even more useful and accessible is that it synchronizes between devices so that parents can control and monitor from their phone or computer (using the ChoreMonster website) while kids login and update on their tablet. Notifications of completed chores are sent to parents either immediately, daily or weekly. It is also really easy to switch between profiles by using a pin or the user's password. A couple of bonus features are that parents can boost their children's points at any time for any reason and also share their children's achievements using the brag bar.

Pros/Cons: There are so many features in this app to make it suit your own family, without annoying ads or in-app purchases and it is presented so well that it is easy to navigate around. It will take some time to set up initially but then any changes to the routine can be easily adjusted in the app and one-off events can be added without disruption to the regular schedule. Separate profiles means the guts of ChoreMonster is protected and kids can't cheat their way to rewards by "earning" points without parent approval. The customizability and ease of use means that even very young children or older children working at a lower level can use ChoreMonster independently. Being able to access the same data from several devices empowers children who login and control "their" app on their tablet.

It may be an adjustment from iOS to Android but I found myself kicked out of the app a few times when I used the back button. That is something that can be easily fixed, however. Also, the app did quit on me a couple of times, but without further investigation I cannot be sure if that was a software or hardware problem.

Suggestions for updates: This is a difficult one as there is already so much in this app! Completely not needed, but possibly a fun bonus feature could be a way for kids to trade their monsters (or even their points/rewards). That would be helpful if they swapped chores for a day or helped each other out and felt that a reward could be shared. It may even encourage cooperation!

Summary: I highly recommend ChoreMonster as an app to help organize, motivate, monitor and empower children to contribute around the home. A completely free app that you can customize to suit your own family (or possibly classroom if you want to use this at school). You could even check that your children have brushed their teeth before bed if you have gone out and left them with a babysitter. ChoreMonster is practically perfect.

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Cas really needs to set up a child profile for herself to monitor her housework and give herself rewards for completed tasks.

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