These 25 Bucket Filler Activities Will Spread Kindness in Your Classroom
Does your class love the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? If so, they’ll truly love these bucket filler activities. If you haven’t read this bestseller yet, here’s the concept: We each carry an imaginary bucket around with us. Being kind to others fills their buckets and our own. When we’re not kind, we dip into others’ buckets. Bucket filler activities encourage kids to recognize their own “filling” and “dipping” activities throughout the day and to try to fill as many buckets as they can. Give them a try in your classroom today!
1. Read a bucket filler book
Whether you read the original or one of the many charming follow-ups, a bucket filler book or two (or three, or four!) is a must for kicking off all of your bucket filler activities.
2. Don a bucket filler t-shirt
These cute t-shirts come in men’s, women’s, and youth sizes, and in a variety of colors. Wear one to remind your students to fill each other’s buckets, or offer one as a prize in a bucket filler contest!
Play this video for your students, and they’ll quickly learn the words so they can sing along too. The song has lots of helpful suggestions for how kids can help fill each others’ buckets.
5. Sort bucket fillers from bucket dippers
Give students a stack of pre-printed behaviors, and ask them to sort the phrases into “bucket fillers” and “bucket dippers.” Tip: Include some blank slips and have kids fill in their own behaviors to add to either list.
Encourage your class to fill a communal bucket as they work toward a reward. Add a star to the bucket each time you see an act of kindness in your classroom. When the bucket is full, they’ve earned the reward!
This journal from the author of the original book walks kids through some thought-provoking questions each day. It also provides space for their own reflections. Buy one for each student, or share the questions and ask them to write their answers in their own notebook or online journal.
This clever idea works for DIY buckets made from plastic cups or inexpensive small metal buckets. Slide each into a pocket, label them with students’ names, and provide a stack of blank “bucket filler” slips nearby. Kids write messages and leave them in the buckets for each other.
Choose someone to honor (the principal, janitor, or school secretary). Have your little ones write one word that describes that person on a heart or star, then mount them on sticks and fill up the bucket. Present the bucket to your honoree in front of the whole class.
This is a cute and quick way to fill buckets throughout the school day. Recognize bucket filler activities and behaviors by tossing a pom pom (some folks call them “warm fuzzies”) into a student’s bucket. They’ll love watching their buckets fill up!
Face it—no class is perfect. Tracking both their filler and dipper activities can help inspire your little ones to be more aware of their behavior. Encourage them to end each day with more balls in the “filler” container than the “dipper” container. (This is a great practice counting activity too.)
Reward your little bucket fillers by filling up their punch card with a sticker (or teacher’s initials) each time they’re caught doing something kind. Kids can turn in filled cards for a treat or reward.
Keeping your own bucket full is an important part of the bucket filler philosophy. Many bucket filler activities focus on how kids can fill others’ buckets. This one asks kids to consider how they fill their own buckets with their kind behavior by crafting and filling an origami paper bucket with drops of water.