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Gamify your children - The results!

Our lists of Rewards and the Tasks that earned points
The results of our 2 week experiment into the Gamification of the school holidays for the kids are in.

The use of Trello for this was no good, too much administration was required to remove earned points for rewards and it's just not the right tool for this.

A friend has suggested Evernote as an alternative but I'm leaning towards HabitRPG as suggested by James Ross for next time.

There will definitely be a next time! The children all agreed that it was good. Here are some of their reflections from our retrospective on the game under: 

What did you like about the game?

  • The whole system was good
  • Because it was fair
  • We were allowed to add new ideas
  • It was easy to earn points

Under What was bad about the game?

  • Some rewards cost too little
  • We didn't get to do all the rewards
  • When all 3 of us wanted to do different things we couldn't have our own way
Under What would you change about it next time?

  • Have enough days to use rewards and get points. (They wanted some transparency in planning of days in the holidays so they knew when they could have outings and when they would be in different places and therefore didn't need to all agree on the same reward).
  • Some medium level hardness for points. (They thought there were too many little point earners and wanted to be challenged with some bigger tasks for more points). 

Some more observations from me:

  • I thoroughly enjoyed having the children contribute to their activities, both earning the points and collecting the rewards. There was less thinking and planning required by me and it meant that days at home were easily filled. A more relaxing holiday all round. 
  • The boys tidied their room without being asked once. Does that ever happen?!
  • We had a 'day off' for one day. It was a day when 3 of their cousins came over and we decided to 'Game the day' with a simple challenge on the board. " Hour free of electronics + Hour outside + Achieve a daily challenge + Hour of craft, unlocks prizes" The prizes were just snacks or treats that I metered out for each achievement, however the same weird observation I made for our 2 weeks of family gaming, occurred here too, which was....
  • NO ONE SEEMS TO MIND TOO MUCH ABOUT THE REWARDS AS MUCH AS THEY DO ABOUT PLAYING THE GAME. It was true for all the gaming we played; although the rewards are received positively, the playing of the game seems to be a bigger reward in itself. I think this is what James meant when he said it seems like dangerous information to ignore!
So those are the results and some observations. We will definitely be gaming the next holidays by popular demand from the children - these will be the summer holidays for us and so the game will be running for at least six weeks. The kids have already insisted on carrying over their points balance to the next game. And for those of you who might be interested, the final results of the game are in the picture below.


Further to this post, a friend recommended an iPhone app that's similar but different. Called 'Child of the week' where kids take it in turns to be the leader in the family, benefiting from perks and working for chores.

Not free however...
A friend pointed out a site that seems to cater for this very situation
Check it out

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