Smart Home

Alexa can get your kids to do chores. Here’s how


Messy roommates? Stubborn kids? Alexa can help.

Josh Miller/CNET

If your household is like mine, there are constant arguments over whose turn it is to take out the trash, wash the dishes or vacuum. My fix? Bring in Alexa.

Using Alexa Skill Blueprints you can make a chore chart and have Alexa sort out the arguments. Here’s how.

How to set up an Alexa chore chart

Alexa Skill Blueprints allow you to create your own personalized Alexa skills without needing to know technical jargon or coding.

To set up your chore chart, go to the Chore Chart Blueprint and click on the Make Your Own button in the top left. Next, add the names of your family members or roommates under the Household Members section.

The next section on the page has a premade list of chores you can use. You can get rid of unwanted chores by pressing the X icon next to them, or you can add more by clicking the Add button at the bottom of the page.

When you’re done, scroll back up and click the Next: Assign button at the top right of the screen.

On the next screen that pops up, choose a person in your household from the drop-down list and assign them a chore from the second drop-down list. Then assign the days and times they’re required to do the chore. At the bottom of the screen you can set up reminders so Alexa will announce the chore and whose turn it is.


Assigning chores in the Alexa chore chart.

Alina Bradford/CNET

Click Add a Person at the bottom of the screen to match another person with a chore. Click Next: Experience when you’re done.

On the Experience page you can choose how Alexa interacts and encourages users when they use the chore chart. You can use the premade responses or add your own. For example you can have her say, “Good job, you’re a champ,” when a chore is completed.

When you’re done with that, click Next: Name at the top of the screen. After you give your chart a name, click Next: Create Skill to finish.

How to use your Alexa chore chart

After you’ve created your chore chart, you’ll be directed to a sign-in screen to connect the new skill with your Alexa device. When it is done, you can open the skill by saying, “Alexa, open (chore chart’s name).”

To use the chart, tell Alexa to ask the chore list to read off the chores for the day. When a chore is done, say, “Alexa, ask (chore chart’s name) to log a chore.”

You can also settle the argument of who has done more chores by asking, “Alexa, ask (chore chart’s name) for the chore score.” One chore equals one point and the point system starts fresh each week.

Alexa Skill Blueprints allow you to create your own personalized Alexa skills without needing to know technical jargon or coding.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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