Are you a Bucket Filler? Last year my son would come home and talk often about his bucket being full at school and things he did to fill it. I was a bit confused by the conversation and he was not able to quite explain to me what he was talking about, but he was SO excited that it made me excited, too. All I knew is that it was a good thing! At our first parent/teacher meeting shortly after I asked his teacher if she knew what bucket filling was. Her eyes lit up and she enthusiastically told me about her new program she was implementing in her room. I will tell you, this particular teacher had some amazing results with my son in her class, just because she implemented this positive atmosphere. After the school year ended we did not want to stop the bucket filling and I learned that the program was based off some children’s books. As a family we recently read the book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” from Bucketfillers.com
“Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness For Kids” is a 32 page, easy to read book with fun and colorful illustrations. My 4 year old and 6 year old love to read it! As you read the book it explains the power of being nice and doing nice things for others, but does it in simple, easy to understand words and eye catching illustrations to go along with it. I love how the idea is so simple! Here is my rough interpretation:
Everyone has a bucket. If you are nice to others or do nice things for others, you fill your bucket and their bucket. If you are mean, you take from your bucket and their bucket.
After reading this book, it just clicked with my 4 year old. Her 6 year old brother had been talking about it for months and it was like she was let in on a little secret. Over the past couple of weeks I have heard little comments from my children about how their bucket just got filled or someone will come to me heartbroken and tell me that the other had just taken from their bucket. For instance, we took a cold smoothie to Daddy at work when we were out running errands. It was a quick pop in and Lil’ Sis handed off the drink kind of trip. When when we got back into the car she was silent and then she sweetly said, “Daddy filled my bucket when I gave him his drink.” She knew she had made him happy and thus it had made her happy. Seriously, moments like that are so sweet and make me want to encourage bucket filling more!
This book created a way to make feelings visual for my kiddos and they have ran with the idea. I love how I can easily tell them that when they did such and such, it made their sibling sad and not only took from their sibling’s bucket, but from their own bucket, too. They do not like the idea of taking from their own bucket and we are then able to talk about how it makes them feel and what they could do differently next time. It makes these “feelings” discussions so much easier of a concept to grasp.
So far we have not needed it, yet, but I am planning on creating some uckets for everyone in the family that we can each visually fill. I think I am going to save it for around the time the new baby comes, so we have some positive atmosphere around.
On the Bucket Filler’s site there is more information on their program, other available books and some free resources that include instructions on how to make a paper bucket and other positive reinforcement ideas and tips. Their books/program is not only great for the home atmosphere, but any school or learning environment, too. I highly recommend snagging one and reading it with your kiddos. I am sure you will love it as much as we are. These books are available for purchase or check to see if they are available at your local library. Our library had some, but they had quite the waiting list.
*Product sample was supplied to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.