Bucket Fillers & Bucket Dippers

I don't know if all of you are familiar with the following books:

And if you've never heard of these books then you are in for quite a treat.  To say I love these books is an understatement. 
The concept behind these books is that everyone (adults and children) have a bucket inside of them.  When someone is nice to you and makes you feel good then they are filling your bucket.  When someone criticizes, bullies or is mean then they dip your bucket.  The books talk about when you have a full bucket you are happy and good things happen so you are able to fill other people's buckets.  When your bucket is empty then everything seems bad and you become a bucket dipper yourself!  It may seem like an abstract concept to some children we work with, but trust me if you can make it more concrete (which this post will help with) then kids of all ages understand and really gravitate to this concept. 

First here are some adorable bulletin board ideas:
*Click on the picture to get to these blog links. 

This blogger put the kid's faces on a bucket. This one is definitely happening in my social skills class.

If you can't find buckets then use different colored cups.

Or use library book pockets as "buckets".

When introducing any topic it's a good idea not just to read the book, but have plenty of follow-up activities for generalization and general understanding of the concept.  Using a t-chart or another visual to brainstorm what would fill or dip someone's bucket is a great place to start.  I love the idea of the jars and you could use ping pong balls instead.  Write down fillers and dippers on the balls and the students have to decide which jar it goes into.


Here are even more activities that you could incorporate into centers or use as an activity in your lesson plan.


And if that wasn't enough, here is an awesomely cheesy song about filling your bucket.

Now if only I had unlimited supply of these books, I would pass them out to all the cranky people on the train and bus in the morning!


  1. Our school used this as a way to boost teacher morale. We each got a bucket and colored paper in a tear drop form where we could give e/o encouragement ;)

  2. I just bought all these books to read to my kids in speech! I am reading the adult version on my Kindle. It's great too.

  3. Nice! Love these books