Episode 080: Gamifying Kids Chores

Episode Transcription

Does your family struggle with chore management and chore motivation with kids? Last year, we started using a new app that has been working really well, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

In this episode, Diana and her kids share how a simple app changed how they manage household chores.

This episode and app are not sponsored. You can find the app here: Joon

We'll also discuss:

  • What is Joon, and who would benefit from it?
  • Hear why Ms. Seven and Ms. Nine, like Joon.
  • Some examples of how Diana and her kids use Joon.

What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?

  • 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
  • How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
  • Guest interviews
  • Deep dives on specific topics 


Find Diana Rene on social media:

Instagram: @the.decluttered.mom
Facebook: @the.decluttered.mom
Pinterest: @DianaRene

Are you ready for a peaceful and clutter-free home? Watch my FREE training video "Kiss Clutter Goodbye" to learn how it's possible! And find all of my resources here.

This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.

Diana Rene: 0:06
You're listening to the decluttered mom podcast, a podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Rene, and in 2017, I had my second daughter and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home Okay, not literally, but I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next 10 months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show.
Welcome to this episode of the decluttered mom podcast. I am excited to talk to you today about an app that we have been using in our home that has helped with chore management and chore motivation with kids, and it's something that I kept getting served ads for, I believe, on TikTok initially, but then it's something I looked into because I thought it looked like a cool idea and it's marketed as an app for kids that have ADHD. I think that it would probably work well for any kid. We don't have any diagnoses in our home for the girls, but we have some potential there, I think with one, maybe both of them and I have ADHD, as you guys know. So I found it just something that I wanted to try. So we started trying it last year and it's become kind of like a key system in our home that I didn't really see coming and now we rely on it so much for many things and so I don't know if we will always use it. I don't know if it's just in this season, at their current ages. It's kind of one of those things that I'm open to. We'll play by ear. If it stops working, we'll stop using it, but for now it's working really well and I really wanted to share it with you guys. This is not sponsored. This is not. I don't have an affiliate link for you or anything. The creators of this app have no idea who I am or what this podcast is. It's just I am a consumer of this app. They do have a free trial and then they have a paid version, so I have been paying for the paid version for the last year. So it's just something that I have found really beneficial for our home and I wanted to share it with you. But I just always want to make that very clear upfront that I am not. I do not benefit in any way from you choosing to try this app yourself. So the app is called Joon J-O-O-N.

Miss Seven and Miss Ten: 3:10
I like Joon because it's fun and it gets chose around the house and it makes it fun A fun way, but he do win choice and I like it because you also own stuff. I like Joonie Pet Game because it makes chores fun and it makes me feel more productive every day. I also like how you can earn animals and pets and like fun accessories.

Diana Rene: 3:49
And it's marketed as like a video game chores app. So it's basically gamifying chores for kids, which, if you have kids that have ADHD or you have ADHD yourself, you know that gamifying something can really increase the likelihood that the task associated with the game is going to happen, because it's fun and it's a dopamine hit, and so it's something that they may be more likely to follow through on versus in the past. We have tried, you know, paper like checklists that we put up in our command center, things like that that we've tried that they work for like a week or two, but then there's not really any big. They kind of lose their newness and their excitement over it and then, by the time that happens, it's kind of like I don't want to do that Right? So this is something that incorporates some technology. It's not like a ton of technology, but definitely some. So if you're someone who's like absolutely zero screen time in our home, then this is probably not the right fit for you, and it does require your kids having access to an app. So they have to have access to a phone or an iPad or something like that. I don't know if they have Android. Let me look real quick. Okay, I just quickly looked and it actually says that it can be downloaded on any Apple, android or Amazon device, which isn't that like. Isn't that like the Amazon fire? Is that what it is? No, that's Kindle. I don't know. Maybe you know we don't have any Amazon devices, but if you do, then maybe that's something that you can look into. But for it does work for Apple and Android, so they do have to have access to it. We have an iPad, we have two iPads that the girls have access to. They don't have, like, unlimited access to them. They're not their specific iPads, but they do have access to them for when they're using Joon. If they didn't, then I would probably just let them use my phone for when they're doing it, but I do think that it may not be as helpful if they didn't have access to some type of technology that allowed them to grab it when they need it without having to take my phone away, especially if it's at a time where I am using my phone, right. So there, I think that would probably be the biggest limitation to this Whether or not it would work for you in your home, but for us it does work because of their ability to access the iPad when they need it. So if you go to Joon's website, they classify themselves as the Behavior Improvement app for kids with ADHD, odd, autism or any struggling child. So it says that it's a video game that makes daily routines and tasks fun for kids ages six through 12. And I would, I think I would agree with that age range. You know, my oldest is 10 and she really gravitates towards it, but I don't, you know, I don't know how long that will last. I do think it would probably be hard, hard or for like a three or a four year old to really get going with this. So what, it is okay. So it's basically a game on their side where they get, like they get these gold coins and they can use these gold coins to take care of their pet. So they have a pet inside of Joon and they can even name them. So I think like I think my 10 year olds is named Rosa, for example, but they can name them, they can. They kind of they create them when they first start so they can change what they look like and how they're dressed, so they can buy like clothes for them, they can buy things for them, they can buy all these different things, basically, again to gamify it. So that's kind of the core concept of it. For on their side is that they have this pet and the app is called Joon, but they call it Junie and I don't know why that where that began, but it just kind of stuck and so that's what it's called in our house. So if you hear me say Junie, then you know what I'm talking about. But they have this pet and then they get coins based on the tasks that they complete and then they get to use those coins to play the game, to take care of this pet. So kind of like in our time or not even my time at Tamagotchi's, you know, like the digital pets, like kind of that kind of idea or concept, but a much more robust situation. So what you do on the parent side is you create these quests is what they call them. So they're not called chores in Joon, they're called quests, and I like that and we use different words in our house. Sometimes we use chores, sometimes we use jobs, sometimes we use tasks, and now sometimes we use quests, and so you create a quest and you have lots of different abilities while you're creating this quest for them, so you can make it something that they have to do every day. You can make it required, you can make it optional, you can make it have a different number of coins. So let's just walk through one example. For us, we use this not only for household chores, we use this for just routines. So we do have what you would like consider more like household chores on here things like make your bed, put clean clothes away, clean off and wipe the kitchen table. So we do have those types of things on here. But I also have things like practice piano, do your vision therapy exercises, some more like Things that they need to be doing that are not necessarily household related, but they need to be building into their daily or weekly routine. And then we have even things like wash hands before eating. We added that after our first bout of illness Last year once we hit Coleman flu season but just things that you want them. I'm working on building into new habits or Systems, into not only your home but just their daily activities. So let's say that we were going to create a new quest for Flossing teeth. Maybe we left the dentist and they said okay, we need to make sure that we are prioritizing and Flossing every single day and so at any time I hear something like that or I think of something that like we really need to get better about X. That's like a cue to me that this is something that we could add to Joon. So if I were to do that, I would create a new quest. I can name it you. Something that I really recommend is putting in like emojis. If you have a child who isn't reading yet or isn't reading well yet, you can put like for here, I have after-school checklist for one of ours and I have like a little backpack, so like that's a reminder that that's what it is, but you can put in the name. Then it has like a slider and it says how difficult is it to motivate your child to complete this quest? And it has not difficult, all the way to very difficult, and if it's like not difficult at all, they get one coin and then you and when you're sliding it over it gets. You know, you can kind of Determine how many coins are getting, but if it's like the most difficult, they would get 30 coins. So that's, you know there's a large variation in your ability to decide how many coins they're going to get, and Maybe for those tasks that are feeling extra hard for them or that are very important, that you're really trying to prioritize with them, you can make very, very difficult in here, and all that means is that they're going to get way more coins, which probably means they're going to be more excited to complete it, because they get more coins to play with in their pet game. So then you can select a category. So the categories are chores and housework, learning and education, health and fitness, mental health, focus and self-control and relationship building. And then you have set up all your kids in here prior, so you can either assign it to just one of your kids, so, like my 10 year old is the only one who is in piano right now. So, uh, that would not apply to my seven-year-old, so I would only assign it to my oldest, for example. But for this one we'll do both. And then when should your child do this quest? You can either do morning, afternoon, night or any time, and then, if it's just a one-time thing, you would put do not repeat. But if most of these things are not going to be one-time things, so I'm going to put on days every day, every day, and repeat every week. That way. It's just in their app every day. They check it. They see that flossing is a required task every day, and then you can have also a day that it's starting on. Then you can submit that you would like to review this quest, which I do. That way they're not just like clicking through and just doing it and saying they did it even if they didn't. And then I also require a completion photo. And I do this not to like make it hard for them. I do this because they think it's fun, like they think it's fun that once they make their bed, they get to take a picture of their bed and put it into Joon, and it's really easy for them to do so I think it just increases the fun factor for them. If your child would not find that fun and maybe you don't require that, but they, they, I think they think that's like an extra fun part of it, and so I always keep that in there. Then there's additional options. So, again, you can make it mandatory or you can make it optional. So like there's one thing on here most of mine are mandatory right now and we're constantly changing ours, but okay, so I have several tasks on here that are under the any time tab and basically I just want to have extra chores that they can do if they have the time and they're wanting to earn more coins, and it's just kind of going above and beyond. So, like one example is put away and organize all the shoes, so oftentimes shoes will get put in the wrong places and so they can do that and they can go put them in the closet and organize them and then they can get extra coins for that. So that's just optional because it's not something they have to do every day. It's just an extra, extra task. Basically you can also set a specific time deadline or a timer. I think that one's kind of cool. That's newer, so I think we might add that. But you can like put it into the task so that if your child is motivated by a timer which both of mine are then they can set the timer. So if they know they have to practice P&L for 15 minutes, or we have another one in here that they have to read every day for 15 minutes, so they could set the timer and then they would know when the 15 minutes is up. So you can also, for little ones, you can add a photo guidance so you can upload a picture showing like what you're talking about. Again, that's just another way to make it a little bit easier for them, kind of like the emoji. Another thing that to make it easier for kids that may not be reading yet, as you can, there's actually an audio button. So I have one of the iPads right here you'll hear. Hopefully you can hear. It has fun music playing, but you can push the button make bed, brush teeth, practice piano, put clean clothes away. School satchel after school checklist.

Diana Rene: 15:51
I'm dying, because I had no idea that it described the emoji. That is hilarious. I had no idea until it just played right now for you. I guess you learn something new every day. Um, something I do on here is, like I said, you know how you can do different coins. So, like they don't get a ton of coins for brushing their teeth because it's just, it's an expected part of daily life, and they still do get. They get two coins for doing it. But we don't make it to be like this big, huge thing, right, because because it is what it is and it's something that they just have to do. But, like I have on here, look for something to do and do it. That is one of the tasks and it is a required daily task and it is 30 coins, so it's the max amount of coins. I do that because it's extra incentive and so they want to look for something to do. But an example of this is my 10 year old today wanted to complete this task and so she went around the entire house and took any like water cups or water bottles and put them either like drew them away if they were cups that were disposable, or put the water bottles into the dishwasher, so like she saw a need and she did it, and then she got her 30 coins. But the reason I added that in is because I do want them to be able to follow a list. I want them to be able to learn how to build in routines in the day, but I also want them to learn how to just look around and see what needs to be done and just do it without needing anyone to tell them what to do, and I think that if I can instill that in them early on, that's a really great skill for them to have throughout their life. So I'm going to go through. The other thing is you can print off the tasks. So if it's something where maybe they don't have access to an iPad or a phone and but you want to try this out, you can print it out and then maybe they can work through that during the day and then they'll have one time you know during the day that they can grab your phone and they can like actually go through the whole thing. I don't know if that would work or not, but that's just an option. I'm going to go through just kind of like what we have on ours, and maybe that will be helpful. So for you these are all required tasks, unless I say otherwise. So for morning it has make bed, brush teeth, smile and say something happy, and I really like that because it just kind of starts their day off. A lot of times it turns into something that they're grateful for or that they're happy about, and I think it's just a good way to kind of like start their day and good practice for them to be able to just make that part of their morning routine. And then in the afternoon my 10 year old has practiced piano, my seven year old will soon have practice guitar because she's starting guitar lessons soon and then put clean clothes away. So I do their laundry still, but I lay out their clean clothes and then they put them away. So they hang what needs to be hung up, they put away their all their other clothes that need to go in the drawers and so on. And then after school, checklist, which is a whole checklist of things that they have to do, that they do have a physical checklist. They like that because it's a clipboard with a dry erase marker so they get to walk around the house with this clipboard and it's, I think, seven or eight things. It's the things like put away your backpack, put your lunch away, put your water bottle in the sink, like stuff like that. After, when they get home from school and then for night they have brush teeth, floss teeth, clean off and wipe kitchen counter, clean off the coffee table because they end up doing a lot of their crafting on the coffee table PM pickup and then pack snack and water bottle for tomorrow for school and then on the any time they have read on your own for 15 minutes, wash hands before you eat, look for something to do and do it. And then the few tasks right now that we have that are just extras is clean bathroom countertops, put away and organize shoes. I think that's actually all we have right now.

So, like I said, it's always changing, it's always moving based on, like what we're needing it for. But it has just been a really helpful thing and they just love it. They think it's so fun and I thought it would only you know they would love it for like maybe a couple days or a week or two, but we're going on a year of using it and we do go through seasons, you know there are times where they're just not using it as much, but I would say for the most part, they are using it every single day, which means they are building these routines and these habits and they're doing all of these things every day that they need to be doing, and we can more easily instill new habits and routines by implementing them through this app. The next step that I'm going to be doing is incorporating more of like a weekly allowance, and we're going to somehow find a way to incorporate that with Joon also, but I haven't quite worked it out in my head yet. We're going to do that. So once I figure that out, maybe I'll do another episode on that, but hopefully this is helpful to you if you do have kids that might be motivated by gamifying.

And the other thing real quick, is that there's not like a lot to do on there if they're not, if they don't have coins. That's kind of the key. If they don't have coins, there's not really anything to play with, so they're enticed to go do more tasks. Sometimes they will come to me and be like Mom, can you please add more things to Junie, because we want more coins, and so it's not like they're just sitting on their iPads like playing this game all day long. They only can play the game when they have coins to play it with, so I think that's kind of an important note. But anyway, hopefully this is helpful and if you do end up trying it, let me know your experience as well.

Thanks for hanging out and listening to the decluttered mom podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories. And if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at the decluttered mom and send me a DM to say hi. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.