Have You Filled A Bucket?

I started bucket filling in my class last year and my kids loved it!  It was such a success that I decided to keep at it this year and it goes PERFECTLY with the schoolwide kindness initiative that’s being put into effect this year…Rachel’s Challenge.  The first thing we do is read the book Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.

fill a bucket  If you haven’t read this book, it’s a story that encourages positive behavior and it illustrates how rewarding it is to show kindness, appreciation, and love toward others.  The story talks about how we each carry around an invisible bucket and when we use kind words and actions, we become bucket fillers {filling other people’s buckets}.  But when we say and do things that aren’t kind and compassionate, we’re bucket dippers…emptying all the good feelings out of everyone else’s buckets.  The book is well written in terms that kids can really relate to and they really got into this idea of bucket filling & dipping!


I introduced my class to our bucket filler board and had each of them decorate a bucket cut-out that would become their very own bucket that others can fill.  I decorated a bucket, too!  I found the downloadable templates on Mrs. Walker’s Website {scroll down to the bottom}.




I also printed out her “Filling a Bucket” forms, cut them out, and put them in a bucket next to the Bucket Filling Board.  The kids can fill a bucket ANY time they want to!!  We talked about filling everyone’s bucket, not just our friend’s.  Every Friday, we check our buckets to find the kind words others have left for us.  Here are a few of my kids…


You are a nice friend to me.” 


And here’s one for me!  I find it HIGHLY amusing that this  sweet little love called me “Cara” instead of “Mrs. Carroll”.  I know I’ve told them my first name a million times, it’s just funny to see that one of them actually uses it in her writing!  HA!



One of my moms caught up with me after her little girl brought home her first round of bucket fillers.  She had tears in her eyes and said that her daughter was so excited that so many friends “filled her bucket”.  She said, “Wow, Mom.  My friends really do care about me.”  Gush.  I had tears, too!  I love these bucket fillers and think it’s great that the kids have something tangible to keep and encourage them to fill other’s buckets, too!


  1. I LOVE this board! One of my students last year shared the book with us (both her parents are counselors)and I wasn't really surehowto follow up with it! I created my own "bucket board" just yesterday! Thanks so much for the ideas!

  2. I just found this awesome picture through pinterest. I was wondering if you made the lettering above the chart of if you bought it somewhere? I want to do something similar and LOVE what you did!

  3. Do you only have 16 students in your class? I'm so jealous! This year I have 30 and no specials. HELP!


  4. Love this idea. We have just started conversations about this :)


  5. I too am going to teach my students how to fill each others buckets this next year. I love the small cards that you have. I will have to hop over to Mrs. Walker's website and pick me up some. Thanks for sharing and showing pictures. I'm such a visual learner.

    Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

  6. I love this, trying to figure out how to use in kinder without having to write esp at beginning of year. Suggestions?

    1. Kari- for k, you could have some short pre written msgs I like your hair, you smile nice, you make me smile etc they could then copy and write their name! Hope that helps!