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Time to Fill Buckets!

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

We are focusing on understanding that small acts of kindness can help develop a healthy self-esteem.

Block 2 teaches us that a healthy self-esteem includes feeling capable to have some control, feeling of being capable for growth, and learning and feeling valued, important and loved.

This activity can help us understand how our small actions of kindness can strengthen the development of healthy self-esteem.

Before we start the activity, let's make sure we are familiar of the story 'Have you filled a bucket today?' by Carol McCloud

Here is a storytelling video of Carol for you to check out before proceeding to the activity.

Thank you to Bucketfillers1 for the video.

If you already know the story, let's get filling some buckets!

The story builds upon the idea that we all carry around an invisible bucket for us to hold our good thoughts and good feelings about ourselves. A full bucket means that you’re happy and fulfilled. An empty bucket or dipped-in bucket can make us feel sadness or loneliness instead.

For this activity, we need:

- a small bucket or bag or box

- cards or paper or sticky notes

- some pens/pencils or markers or crayons


  1. Each person will have their own bucket. This can be store bought, a favorite bag or box, or something that you can personalize such as putting your name or picture on it.

  2. The cards/paper/sticky notes are for writing down things that you do that fill someone's bucket. Then you go on and put this piece of paper in their bucket.

  3. We all work together to fill each others' buckets. Do your best to avoid dipping in someone else's bucket!

Bucket Filling involves positive things to say or do for someone such as:

  • smiling or greeting someone,

  • Saying kind words,

  • High fives and waves,

  • Helping someone or cheering them on,

  • Spending time together,

  • and so much more...

There also are Bucket Dippers which is the opposite of Bucket Fillers.

Dipping in someone's bucket can look like:

  • hurting with words or actions,

  • being rude or mean,

  • not respecting other people.

Bucket Filling could look like :

- a parent/caregiver noticed a child do for someone and say ‘I saw you helped your friend build a tower’

- another child might say ‘This friend gave me a Kleenex when I was crying’

- a parent/caregiver might say ‘I really appreciate that you gave me a hug when you saw me’.

So, the things that you would write in a paper and put in the bucket (in these examples) would be ‘helping build friend’s tower’, ‘gave Kleenex to friend’ and ‘gave someone a hug’.


  1. Make it simple in terms of language and actions: Hug, High-five, Help, Smile

  2. Concept of Empty and Full (activities like pouring, fill and dump)

4. A book called Baby’s Bucket Book - (by BucketFillers1)

5. Use pictures instead of words

We can all be Bucket Fillers at home by helping around the house, being nice to siblings, spending time with family.

We can be Bucket Fillers at daycare/dayhome by being a helper, being kind to our teachers and friends, greeting our friends when we see them.

We can be Bucket Fillers when we are outside by making sure we are not too close to other people, waving or smiling at others, and making sure we are respecting other people's spaces.

I am sure we can think of so much more things we can do to be Bucket Fillers and not be Dippers.

Always remember that the easiest way to fill your bucket is to fill someone else's bucket.
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