Teaching Heart's Bucket Filling & Kindness Page!

Free Lessons, Printables, Links, and Ideas to match this Awesome book & Some other Lovely Book for Character Education!!!

Have you filled a bucket today?

Bucket Fillers is a program based off the educational programs of Merrill Lundgren, the Bucket Man.
The book children's book
Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids  by Carol McCloud is part of the program.

Below are a few lesson ideas and printables to match the book. I developed these back in 2009 for my Son's Kindergarten Teacher.
Also you will find other sites with free resources to match this great book.

Before you start make sure you have these resources:

A must read book on my list is Have You Filled a Bucket Today.
Through simple prose and vivid illustrations, this heartwarming book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love.
This book explains to children that we all carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our feelings about ourselves. When our buckets are full, we are happy; when they are empty, we are sad.
It is important to know that we can fill our own bucket and so can others. We fill buckets by saying nice things to the people around us. We fill buckets by doing nice things for people.

Updated - September 2012

Fill our Bucket and Follow Us on Facebook!


1.) Whole Class Instruction:  Pocket Chart

These three activities are designed to be used after reading, Have You Filled A Bucket Today?  They are on a Pre-K to First Grade Level. 

After reading the book to your class, display the given graphics.  You can display the graphics on a pocket chart or you may choose to place magnets on the graphics to display on a magnetic white board. 


Tell the students that you will be talking about ways to fill a bucket.  Read one of the sentences and ask a student to place the sentence under the picture that matches the statement.  Discuss the picture.  Repeat until all sentences are under the correct picture.  Can your students find the picture showing a child who is bucket dipping?  Remove that picture.  Discuss other things we can do to fill buckets rather than dipping into buckets. 


Some Ideas for more discussion:

-What is something you could do for a friend that would fill their bucket?

-Think of situations that your students may run into; such as, a friend has done a nice job coloring.  Ask your students what they might say to their friend?

-Discuss ways we can help at home and at school.

-Discuss ways we can help our siblings or pets. 

Printables to Make This Chart:
Click to Download Pocket Chart Printables!!!

2.) Small Group Instruction:  Fill A Bucket Board Game:

When:  Use after you have read the book and after you have completed the whole class instruction with the pocket chart activity.



a.) To reinforce lessons learned through the book and pocket chart activity.

b.) Remind players of ways to fill a bucket with visual representations.

c.) Practice reading numbers one through six.

d.) Practice counting to six and moving an object a given number of spaces.


Game Play

Number of players:  2-4 players. 

I suggest that you use this activity as part of a center rotation.  2-4 preschool students would work with the teacher or classroom helper to complete the game.  Each player should be given a bucket and a marker to place on start.

The object of the game:

The object of the game is for each player to fill his or her bucket with four different pictures that represent bucket filling. 


Set Up:

-Place the bucket filling pieces (picture cards) on the board over the given picture under the words collect 1 of each to fill your bucket. 

-Place the number card shuffled and face down on the board.

-Gather one object per player to use as a playing piece.  (counting bears, unfix cubes, small dolls)

Before Play:
Discuss each of the four pictures with your students and remind them that each picture shows someone filling another person’s bucket.  Remind them that when we fill other people’s buckets with kind words and by doing nice things for them, we are also filling our own buckets.  In this game, you will try to collect the four bucket filling pictures to place on your bucket.  When your bucket is full, you did it! 


To Play:

Students take turns drawing a number card and moving the given number of spaces on the board.  If they land on a picture of bucket filling that they do not already have, they may take one (from the pile on the board under the words, “collect 1 of each”) and put it on a heart on their bucket.  If they land on a bucket dipper they must put one of their bucket pictures back on the board.  Help your students follow the cues on the board as they navigate through the game.  Once they have four different bucket filler pictures on their card, tell them that they are Great Bucket Fillers!!!! 

Printables to Make this Game:

Click to Download the Game Board

Game Board Pieces

3.)  Take Home Sheet

The last activity is a reproducible activity sheet.  You will need to make copies for each student.  On each child’s sheet, write the names of three students the given child should write a bucket filling statement for.  On the last bucket, write the students name for the parent to write a statement about. 


The sheet asks the students (with a parents help) to write a nice statement about three of their classmates.  The student dictates the sentence and the parent writes the sentence on the correct bucket.  There is also a space for the parent to write something nice about their child.  Lastly, they should cut out the buckets and send them back into school. 


Option:  You could complete this activity at school rather than sending it home.


When the bucket statements are sent back to school, you will need to make an envelope for each child.  Stick the statements written about that child in their envelope.  Add a statement that you have written about each child to be included in the envelope.  Send the envelope home for the parents to share with their child.  Now you have filled up the buckets of your students.  Great job! 

Printable Take Home Sheet - Click here to Download!

Click Here to Download a Print Out of these Three Ideas!


Buy this book for your child’s teacher, wrap it up, and attach a note to the outside telling them that they have filled the bucket of your child. Click here for a FREE printable note.
This is a Publisher file. You can modify the words to fit your child's needs.

Be sure to check out ALL the free printables at Bucket Fillers. There are lots. Click here to view them!

Found this Lovely Song at http://www.fisdk12.net/wb/character/songfillabucket.html
Lyrics by Barbara Gruener
(sung to the tune of Frere Jacques/Are You Sleeping?)

Inspired by the song in the front of Carol McCloud's Fill A Bucket book, these lyrics will reinforce your Bucket-Filling efforts. After reading Have You Filled A Bucket Today?, why not sing with your little Bucketfillers. For ease of learning, start it as an echo song; you sing the first part of the line and have students repeat you. When they're ready, you can put it all together and sing it in unison. Finally, challenge your students to write another verse!

Fill a bucket, fill a bucket.
It's easy to do. It's easy to do.
I can fill a bucket, I can fill a bucket.
So can you! So can you!

Fill a bucket, fill a bucket.
Smile and say "hi," smile and say "hi!"
You can fill a bucket, you can fill a bucket.
Give it a try. Give it a try.

Fill a bucket, fill a bucket,
Do a good deed. Do a good deed.
I can fill a bucket, I can fill a bucket
(when I) help someone in need, help someone in need.

Fill a bucket, fill a bucket
with your family, with your family.
We can all fill buckets, we can all fill buckets.
Yes siree! Yes siree!

Here is another song on YOUTUBE:

I am a huge fan of Bucket Filling after finding and reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids a few years ago. Bucket filling terms such as ‘dipper’ and ‘filler’ are part of the language we use every day with our kids (6 and 9). An added bonus is that the school my children attend also uses bucket filling terminology and the books to teach kindness to their students. Furthermore I use the bucket filling books in my third grade Sunday School classes to demonstrate how being kind and good makes us happy and God (although God is not mentioned in any of the books) happy too!

I love how the simple text and vivid pictures in the Bucket Filler books really reach children in a language they can understand. The new book in the set is called Will You Fill My Bucket; Daily Acts of Love Around the World. Will You Fill My Bucket reminds us that no matter where you are in the world, your bucket is always with you. And even people in other countries have buckets too and they are filled just like ours. This book is one to read after you have read Have You Filled a Bucket Today and discussed the book and its ideas with your students or children. It does not go into detail about what being “bucket filler” or a “bucket dipper” is; instead, it shows adults around the world in different countries filling the buckets of children. It starts in America with a child sitting on the lap of a mother riding a subway into New York City. They are reading a story with the filled bucket next to them. The simple text on the page asks; “Will you fill my bucket and hold me on your lap?” You travel through North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia visiting each page of the book and seeing how adults everywhere can fill buckets, “with the love that comes from you!” The last page of the story sums it all up with an illustration of many different people from different places on Earth loving each other and holding their filled buckets. The last lines of text simply state; “I want to fill your bucket and it fills my bucket too… when I show you that I love you because I truly do.”

The books illustrations do not disappoint and do a good job of telling the story without even reading the words. Seeing the happy people in different parts of the world is also a nice geography lesson as well. The first two pages shows a map of the world and children holding their buckets ready to be filled.

I recommend reading this book to your own children or students after reading a discussing Have You Filled a Bucket Today. Will You Fill My Bucket will give many examples of ways we can fill others buckets. Also, be sure to Google Search bucket filling idea online. There are many resources that can be used with these books. Be sure to remind the kiddos in your life how much they fill your bucket by being part of your day!

In the past, I have given a favorite teacher the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids to my son’s K- Teacher. That was three years ago… Three years later, my daughter has the same wonderful teacher and today she will give her the new book.

I created a book plate to attach to the book. It happens to be Teacher Apprecaition week – perfect!

Click Here To Download The Bucket Filler Tag!

Want more Teacher Gift Ideas, click here!!!



Other Great Books To Use After Reading Have you Filled a Bucket Today...

In the book,
Words Are Not for Hurting , "Children learn that their words belong to them: They can think before they speak, then choose what to say and how to say it. The book makes the connection between hurtful words and feelings of anger, sadness, and regret. It introduces positive ways for children to respond when others say mean or unkind words to them. And it reinforces the importance of saying “I’m sorry,” two little words that can be a big help. Includes activities and discussion starters that parents, caregivers, and educators can use when working with children."
Here's a great activity to use after you read, Words Are Not For Hurting!

Explain to your students that once words are spoken they can be forgiven but never forgotten.

Then supply a travel sized toothpaste for each student or group of three. Also give them a paper bowl. Ask them to work together to get all of the toothpaste out of the tube and into the bowl.

After the group has all of their toothpaste in the bowl, give them each a toothpick. Ask them to try their best to get all the toothpaste back into the tube.

Soon the groups will find the task impossible. As a class discuss how the toothpaste is like our words. They should figure out that once all the toothpaste is out it is hard to get back in... Much like our words, once we say something, we can't take it back. If we happen to say something hurtful we have to realize that it will be hurtful and can never be totally forgotten just forgiven.

(also great activity for girlscout meetings)

To make sure they understand the activity you may have them complete the activity sheet below.

Click here to print!

This book shows how one good deed can turn into five good deeds and how five can quickly turn into billions of good deeds. Through Ordinary Mary’s good deed, children can see that doing something simple and nice can be extraordinary. Yes, any child can do a good deed, no matter how ordinary they are. If Mary did it, so can anyone. This book is well written and follows a pattern for easy reading. So many wonderful illustrations that show the deeds in action. Great for a k-3 classroom. This book would go along great with the book Have you Filled a Bucket Today.

I thought this was a wonderful book that would be a great read for the first week of school. It is a wonderful resource that encourages children to make good choices and be aware of others feelings. It promotes kind behavior as acceptable and unkind behavior as something that should not be accepted or rewarded by others – power in numbers. There are many books written that address bullies, but this book is different in that it also covers bystanders. It makes the reader understand that it’s not alright to sit back and watch a bully. The concept of bystanders is often a difficult one for young children to grasp, but this book explains it nicely for elementary listeners or readers.

In The Juice Box Bully, the children of Mr. Peltzers class meet Pete, the new kid in school. Pete quickly acts the part of the bully. The class does not stand by and just let Pete bully. Instead the class has made a pact to stand together and stop bullying. Their willingness and courage to stand up for not only the kids being bullied but for the bully himself, makes their school what it should be, a safe place for all to learn and grow.

Teachers, check out “The Promise” at the end of the book. The Promise is 8 Powerful statements you will want to share with your classroom. “The Promise” helps children be empowered to take a pledge to stand up to bad behavior. What a wonderful tool for your classroom. Read the book and discuss “The Promise” on the last page. Post “The Promise” in your classroom. Work together as a class the first week to write a “Promise” for your classroom as well. Become a classroom community that CARES!

Looking at the cover of this book you can almost tell that the Queen on the front of this book is a bully! Yes, Mean Jean is pretty mean. So mean that the kids let her rule the recess time and just try to stay out of her way. The author tells about the Queen in fun rhyming poetic form, “she’d push em and smoosh em, lollapaloosh em.”Luckily the bullying situation is resolved because of one strong-willed , kind youngster named Katie Sue. When Katie Sue invites Mean Jean to jump rope with her, she is at first shocked but in the end the two are playing together happily and sharing the jump rope. This book shows that killing them with kindness is a great strategy to teach kids when dealing with the “mean.” Also this book shows that sometimes people can change too when you give them a chance! Bullies can become a friend. The illustrations are vibrant and fun.Students will love all the rhyming and teachers can use the rhymes in the story as a quick review of rhyming. Your students will learn a strategy to deal with a bully as well as have fun reading thisbook. I am sure they will go, “Bouncity, kickity, swingity…” once they enjoy this book.
A WONDERFUL book for kids, to teach them that being unique is sometihing to celebrate and be proud of!
Great read for teaching/learning negotiation skills; empathy!
The book of the day goes along with one of my favorite themes (Bucket filling). It's adorable and called Bad Apple... meeting unlikely friends and defying labels -


For Apple Themed Ideas - click here!!!


Other Teachers Sharing Bucket Filling Ideas!!!

Click there -->Check out my Bucket PINS!!!

My Fun Teacher Shares Ideas and Printables!

Mrs. Jones Shares Her First Grade Classroom System as well as some Printables to Match!! Below is a picture from her classroom! You will find more on her site! Check it out!

Check out this article on Scholastic that discuss using this system for Behavior Management!

What the Teacher Wants Shares Their Bucket Filling Ideas and some Free Printables to Match!!!

Websites of Interest:

http://www.bucketfillers101.com/ - Bucket Fillers Website which includes classroom resources.

http://charactercounts.org/lesson-plans/index.html - Character Education Free Lesson Plan Bank.  You may search by age level.

http://childparenting.about.com/od/emotionaldevelopment/a/charactered.htm - Ways to Build Character in Children

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