Have you filled a bucket today?

This engaging book encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love by “filling buckets.”

Why use this book?

  • This is a great resource for all children, but particularly those who tend to react quickly by using their words in a negative way (‘bucket dipping’) and may not always consider how their actions impact others.
  • The Bucket Book can be used with children of all ages and can be incorporated as a fun whole family or whole class strategy.
  • The language and concept can be easily implemented, in a variety of different situations encouraging positive behaviour.

Key Concepts:

  • Everyone has an invisible bucket that can be “filled” or “dipped into” depending on our behaviour.
  • Positive behaviour such as being kind, sharing, using kind words and showing our love and affection fills a person’s bucket. When we fill a person’s bucket, our own bucket gets filled too.
  • Negative behaviours such as using unkind words, not sharing or physically hurting people dips into a person’s bucket. When we dip into a person’s bucket, our own bucket gets dipped into too.
  • This book encourages children to be a bucket filler daily.

Ways to reinforce the Bucket Filling concept at home or at school:

  • Create a bucket for you and your child (or for each family member or student) using a small bucket, container or cup. Place an object in their bucket (and in yours) each time they show bucket filling behaviour. This can reinforce the concept of bucket filling, and they can be excited to fill it!
  • For classroom environments, have a larger bucket for the whole class and decorate it together. Place an item in the bucket each time the class shows bucket filling behaviour.
  • Consider the size of the items that you are filling the bucket with. Larger items (such as rocks from the garden or duplo blocks) will fill the bucket quicker – which is better for children who may be resistant to the concept. This will help your child to achieve a sense of success.
  • Give a reward when the bucket is filled. For example, deciding on a day out, choosing dinner, watching a movie, or a special class treat or award at the end of the day, week or month. Think of rewards that are appropriate for your child and will help to encourage them to be bucket fillers (they don’t need to cost any money).
  • Be a “Bucket Detective” when out in social situations. For example, watch children in the playground or characters on TV and discuss what behaviours could be filling or dipping into buckets.
  • At the end of each day (perhaps around the dinner table or during bath time) discuss one way you each filled or dipped into someone’s bucket that day. Praise the filling and discuss how the dipping behaviour could have been avoided or what they could do next time and keep it positive.

Have You Filled Your Bucket Today? Book

If your child is experiencing difficulties with behaviour, play or social skills, or you want to know more about how occupational therapy could support your child, contact the team at Empowered Kids and one of our therapists will be happy to have a chat with you.