Low-tech, 1-hour All-play Chore Game

Low-tech, 1-hour All-play Chore Game


If you’re like most people, everyone has a day-of-the week where they clean house. Sure, daily routines are great but it’s not for all households due to the increasing demands on you and the kids schedules. Also, amassing momentum with the kids to get chores done is a daunting task. So what to do? Time to gamify the experience. You’d be surprised what a head-to-head battle of cleaning actions will produce in one hour.

Gamification of Chores

The Game
The concept of the game is simple and works best if all players have some simple writing ability (ages 5+). The person with the most actions completed wins!  What they ‘win’ needs to be something everyone cares about.  The person who wins has agency to decide the fate of all others (power).  Some ideas to get you started:  Decide a) whats for dinner b) whats for dessert c) what movie to watch, etc… The basis of the game is to complete as many cleaning activities as possible in one-hour. The one-hour timeframe is crucial. This maximizes efficiency and provides a suitable level of anxiety around how much can be done by any one player in the game.   Each player writes down the cleaning action taken after its been completed.  This serves as the leaderboard.

What you’ll need:

  1. 1 hour
  2. 11″ by 7″ piece of paper for each participant
  3. Writing utensil
  4. Clock
  5. Dirty house
How you play:
  1. Each participant has a sheet of paper and writing tool
  2. Your name goes up top (be creative)
  3. Draw a line underneath your name
  4. Write “1)”
  5. Ready … set… go!
  6. Write the chore completed on line “1)”
  7. Write “2)”
  8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 for the allotted hour
  9. Each person must return after each task has been completed which allows them to see where everyone else is at.
  10. Remind players how much time is left.  Call out at 30 minutes15 minutes10 minutes5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute and Times up!

Times up! 

At the games end, all players swap lists.  You should not have your own.  This is the verification process of the actions performed.  If the action has been found as complete, check it off.  If the action has not, put an “x” next to it.  All players regroup for the final tally and clarify any “x’s” received.  The one with the most tasks completed wins!

Alterations: If working with less than 3 people.  The parent is the referee.  The parent collects each sheet and surveys each task listed.  If something was not completed in a way that it should, allow the person a 2nd chance while surveying the rest of the lists.  


  • Use a household clock that’s easily visible by all players and close to where the each list is.  Using whole-times like (eg..1-2pm) is easier for everyone to manage.
  • Give all the players 5 minutes before the game starts time to survey the house before starting the game.
  • Allow for as much creative agency as possible when working with younger players.  You want them to feel like every little amount they contribute is valuable even if the work has to be completed by an older sibling or parent afterwards.


Love to hear what you think.  Do you do something similar with your house or office?  Share with us your alterations or game changing ideas.



Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.