Old School Gamify Your Household Chores

Writer’s note: I think I may have gone too niche on this one, but perhaps it will give fans of 80s arcade games a laugh.

8246345904_99d6c4b14c_bPhoto credit: Proudlove via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Do Fitbit badges motivate you to walk your dog around the block instead of taking your Segway? Did that work competition for a $5 Taco Bell gift card make you to fill out the best expense report ever? It sounds like you are motivated by games, and I’m guessing your house is a mess. Try these simple DIY ideas to gamify your chores!


Buy a poster board, set of sharpies, and a sheet of stickers you are drawn to (gold stars, smiley faces, scratch and sniff dill pickles). Use the materials to create a leaderboard for members of your household.

Now, gamify!

Ms. Pac-Man:

Staple a pink ribbon to a corn tortilla and cut out a triangle mouth. Hot glue Ms. Pac man to your vacuum. Throw some Corn Pops and a pretzel on the floor. Vacuum them up.

Donkey Kong:

Borrow a monkey. Cut down a tree. Carve several small, intricate barrels from the tree trunk. Teach the monkey to stand at the stop of the stairs and throw barrels at you while you sweep the steps.


Pretend your dishes are Tetris blocks. Load your dishwasher.


Stack all the boxes from your recycling in your living room. Jump on top of every box. Clean up the boxes and the rest of your living room. Take out your recycling.


Get a frog (check a pond). Draw an intricate scene involving cars, logs, and turtles on your bathtub. Put the frog in the bathtub. Scrub off your drawings.

Check the leaderboard:

You: 5 stickers. Your cat: 0

Awards Ceremony:

Fashion a victory sword out of tinfoil and dance around with it in front of your cat. Ignore his disinterested look — cats are sore losers. Clean out his litterbox.

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