A Cool Tool for Chores

To go along with our discussion on rewards programs and chores, my husband happened upon Handipoints, an online program that you can utilize to get your kids to accomplish their chores.

It is set up with a virtual world where they earn points to get things for their very own character!

From TechCrunch:

“Founder Viva Chu started Handipoints in January 2007 with the notion that chore charts would be both more fun and more effective if they were moved online. So he created a site with two main parts: one that helped parents track how their kids helped out around the house, and another that consisted of a virtual world on par with the other pseudo-3D services kids have come to enjoy.

These two parts work closely with one another to create sufficient incentives for kids to do their work. When kids successfully complete activities (such as cleaning their room, taking out the trash, or even brushing their teeth and eating an apple), they gain either of two types of points: so-called “handipoints” that can be redeemed for real-world items such as Nerf guns and toys; and “bonus points” that can be used to buy virtual goods in the online world. Parents determine which type of point, and how many of them, is rewarded for good behavior.

Setting up a system for kids to redeem points for physical goods (or money) was easy enough; all they had to do was hook up Amazon’s APIs and create a custom storefront. But a significant effort has gone into creating an entirely new and appealing virtual world, one that’s replete with different settings, activities, items, and other users.

Like Webkinz, kids can walk around the virtual world and talk to each other using canned chat (where you pick statements from a list instead of typing them). This prevents inappropriate behavior. The graphics are impressive and the functionality is rather sophisticated. In addition to buying items and socializing, users can play in-world games and watch movies (these require points, too).

Most of the service’s virtual goods are free, but the company plans on making money through selling premium goods to parents who want to make them available for their kids.”

I thought this was such a cool concept that I had to share! This might be a fun way to reward chores for kids in the tween category!

Published March 28, 2008 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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