A couple of days ago, Collin pointed me to Chore Wars, a site that lets you keep track of the things you do around the house. Better yet, it lets you keep track of what your family members do around the house. I set up a party for our family, The Geeky Household, and emailed everyone the link that invited them to join our party on its chore adventures. On the way home from not one, but two kid sports events yesterday, I was telling Geeky Girl about it, and she wasn't too thrilled. But then when we got home, she checked her email and followed the link. "This is so cool, Mom!" She said. Apparently, I didn't do a good job of describing it in the car.
The way it works is that each person sets up a character. The dungeon master (me) sets up adventures like vacuuming, taking out the trash, or making a bed. People can then claim an adventure and earn experience points and gold for each adventure. Sometimes you run into monsters. I faced a soap elemental yesterday while doing the laundry. There's also a chance for treasure either from the adventure itself (I got a spatula from making dinner) or from killing a monster.
So far, it's a big hit. Geeky Girl unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, cleared and set the table, and vacuumed the living room. Geeky Boy loaded the dishwasher, hand washed the pots and pans, and made his bed. Geeky Girl raced to make her bed and claim it this morning so she could see if she encountered any bed bugs.
The kids get an allowance every week, one dollar for every year of their age, under the assumption that they help out around the house. They're good about cleaning up the kitchen after dinner and I make them clean up their rooms from time to time, but other than that, I can't really track what else they might do. So, now, I've told them that if there are no chores claimed via Chore Wars during the week, they won't get their allowance. Geeky Girl and I also decided that for every five levels they gain, they'll get something special, perhaps a new DS game or a book or a dinner out at their favorite restaurant.
We've all kind of realized that we're a competitive lot, so making chores into a game is a good idea. I hear Geeky Girl unloading the dishwasher. I gotta go do some laundry so I can hit level 2 today!