Core Book – Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Our core ABC Book for grades K-5 is Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily
Happiness for Kids, by Carol McCloud. This book uses the image of a bucket to represent our need to be filled with positive, caring words every day. When we are kind to each other, we create warm fuzzies that fill our friends’ and classmates’ buckets. The book also discusses bucket dippers, whose negative behavior removes warm fuzzies from other people’s buckets and makes them feel sad. The lesson’s goal is to help children intentionally choose to fill their others’ buckets with kindness in order to treat each other with respect.



Tell your child(ren) that the story today is going to talk about bucket filling. Ask them to close their eyes and if they feel good about themselves, friendly, excited or happy, raise their hand. Do they
feel sad, angry or lonely, raise their hand. Open their eyes. If they were happy that means their bucket is full. If they felt sad, that means their bucket is not filled.


Watch the video of the book together:


1. Can you give me examples of how you can fill someone’s bucket?
2. How does it feel to fill up someone else’s bucket?
3. How do you feel when you hear a warm fuzzy?
4. What is a bucket dipper? (Explain that dipping into someone’s bucket hurts and it takes at least 5 warm fuzzies to make up for one put-down. )
5. How do you feel when someone has dipped into your bucket?
6. How does it feel if you have dipped into someone else’s bucket?
7. What makes your lid work? (You make it work!)  You are using your lid when you:

  • Remember to only use our lids when we think our buckets need protecting.
  • Stop, think and consider what the person might be feeling.
  • Understand that the person who is dipping doesn’t have a full bucket.
  • Don’t dip back because it won’t help. Stop, think and figure out what to do.
  • Ignore or ask them to stop the dipping.
  • Ask if the person who is dipping, if something is wrong or if they need help.
  • Get help if you feel scared.


Fuzzy or Bucket Gram
Materials: Copies of fuzzy or bucket filler gram worksheet.

Have your child(ren) write one fuzzy or bucket gram to each family member. Talk about using words that are specific and deserving when your child(ren) write their grams. Grams must be truthful, nice, tell or describe something specific, or written as a thank you. They can also be about times when you saw someone doing something good or about something you really liked about another person.


Warm Fuzzy Drawing
Materials: Warm Fuzzy Worksheet for each child.
Have the students draw a picture of what they think a warm fuzzy looks like and then complete the sentence – “A Warm Fuzzy is . . . “


As you spend time with your child(ren), keep in mind this simple phrase: Notice it! Name it! Celebrate it! As parents, we can intentionally promote the behaviors we want to see more of!

  • Remind child(ren) of the three rules of bucket filling: 1) Be a bucket filler. 2) Don’t dip. 3) Use your lid when it is needed.
  • Be on the lookout for bucket fillers spreading the good feelings of warm fuzzies when you are with your child(ren).
  • Point out and name the specifi c kindness behavior you see or hear.
  • Fill out a Warm Fuzzy or Bucket Filler Gram that celebrates the kindness you observed.
  • Thank the bucket filler for making our community or neighborhood a kind and caring place.
  • In your conversations your child(ren), ask for examples of warm fuzzies they have said, heard or seen. Comment how warm fuzzies fill your bucket!

You can reinforce these concepts at home by using the bucket filler and bucket dipper language introduced in the lesson to help kids practice how to create a positive, caring school climate where students treat each other respectfully.  Re-direct undesired behaviors or bucket dippers with, “You cannot fill your own bucket by dipping into someone else’s bucket.” or “What could you say or do to be a bucket filler, instead of a bucket dipper?

To build developmental assets, we must create “thousands of moments in the life of a child when they feel valued, respected and known”. Filling a child’s bucket with warm fuzzy thoughts and ideas creates those moments.