These 25 Bucket Filler Activities Will Spread Kindness in Your Classroom
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

Collage of bucket filler books

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

Black shirt with text reading Be a Bucket Filler

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!

Buy it: Bucket Filler T-shirt/Amazon

3. Create an anchor chart

Bucket Filler anchor chart describing what a bucket filling classroom looks like, sounds like, and feels like

Help kids understand what a bucket filler does and says with a simple anchor chart. When you’re done, post it on the wall as a daily reminder of the best bucket filler activities.

Learn more: Crafting Connections

4. Sing a bucket filler song

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

Anchor chart showing bucket dipper and bucket filler activities sorted into categories

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.

Learn more: Third Grade Thoughts

6. Color a bucket filler picture

Bucket Fillers A-Z coloring book

Ask your students to illustrate a bucket filling activity, or give them a page from this cute coloring book. It includes a page for every letter, A to Z.

Buy it: My Very Own Bucket Filling from A to Z Coloring Book/Amazon

7. Work to fill a classroom bucket

Bulletin board with paper buckets; text reads Are You A Bucket Filler?

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!

Learn more: Poet Prints

8. Keep a bucket filler journal

My Bucket Filler Journal and sample page

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.

Buy it: My Bucketfilling Journal: 30 Days to a Happier Life/Amazon

9. Celebrate Bucket Filler Fridays

White board with text Bucket Filler Friday and colorful paper buckets (Bucket Filler Activities)

Take time once a week to recognize the power of kindness. Every Friday, have kids choose another student to write a bucket filler letter to. Encourage them to choose a new person each week.

Learn more: Proud to be Primary

10. Craft personalized buckets to fill

Students decorating red plastic Solo cups with stickers and a pipe cleaner handle (Bucket Filler Activities)

Students will love decorating a plastic cup with stickers, glitter, and more. Attach a pipe cleaner handle, and they’ve got their very own bucket!

Learn more: Moments a Day

11. Use a shoe organizer to hold buckets

Over-the-door shoe organizer with silver metal bucket in each compartment; paper letters read We are Bucket Fillers

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.

Learn more: One Kreative Kindergarten

12. Fill up a bucket for someone special

Miniature buckets with smiling faces filled with paper shapes on sticks with kind words written on each shape

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.

Learn more: @the_miss_education/Instagram

13. Dress up in a bucket filler costume

Collage of teachers dressed in large plastic bucket costumes (Bucket Filler Activities)

Dazzle your kiddos when you grab your fellow teachers and dress up in bucket filler costumes. This is a great way to kick off a series of bucket filler activities.

Learn more: Bucket Fillers 101 (PDF)

14. Use pom-poms to fill buckets

Small metal buckets with text like "Kenzie is a bucket filler" and an assortment of fuzzy pompoms

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!

Learn more: Meaningful Mama

15. Set a daily bucket filler activities challenge

Large plastic jar labeled Our Daily Bucket Filler Jar

Fill a container with a variety of bucket filler behaviors. Each day, have a student pull one from the container and challenge your kids to complete the activity before the day ends.

Learn more: Sparkling in Second Grade

16. Do a bucket fillers crossword or word search

Printable Bucket Filler word search and crossword puzzle worksheets (Bucket Filler Activities)

These free printables help kids learn what a bucket filler looks like. Visit the link below to find these and other free printable resources.

Learn more: Bucket Fillers 101

17. Track bucket fillers and bucket dippers

Two plastic jars labeled dipper and filler, with some colorful tennis balls in each

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.)

Learn more: Busy Bees

18. Make and eat a bucket filler snack

Small plastic cup of yogurt with fruit on top and a pipe cleaner handle; text reads Bucket Filling Snack!

Getting ready for storytime? Make these adorable (and healthy) bucket snacks to eat while you read! You could also fill these with popcorn or other treats.

Learn more: Sommer’s Lion Pride

19. Fill up a teacher bucket too

Colored magnets on a whiteboard with text reading We fill our teacher's bucket!

Don’t forget about your own bucket! Teach students that their kindnesses can fill up their teacher’s bucket. Keep track with colorful magnets on the whiteboard so everyone can see their progress.

Learn more: Teacher to the Core

20. Write a bucket fillers book

Homemade book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today with one page showing a child saying "Your clothes are nice."

Take a photo of each of your students and describe one way they’ve helped to fill someone’s bucket. Collate them all together into a booklet and display it when parents come to visit.

Learn more: Forever in First

21. Pass out bucket filler punch cards

Paper cards with a picture of a bucket and squares numbered 1 through 20; text reads I'm a bucket filler! (Bucket Filler Activities)

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.

Learn more: @misszullo/Instagram

22. Play a bucket filler board game

Bucket filler board game with large paper buckets

In this simple board game, players work to collect four different pieces and fill up their buckets. Get the free printable game at the link below.

Learn more: Teaching Heart

23. Make little wooden reminder buckets

Small wood bucket with google eyes and wooden embellishments (Bucket Filler Activities)

Help kids craft these little wooden buckets with heart and star fillers. They serve as a great reminder to live a kind life dedicated to filling buckets.

Learn more: The Art Kit Blog

24. Turn sticky notes into bucket notes

Square sticky notes trimmed to resemble a bucket shape with kind sentiments written on them

Need a quick, easy way to fill a student’s bucket? Trim the corners from a sticky note and write them a message. Bucket filled! (See more creative ways to use sticky notes in the classroom here.)

Learn more: A Blog from the Pond

25. Think about how to fill your own bucket

Small origami paper bucket with paper raindrops with bucket filler activities written on them

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.

Learn more: Creativity in Therapy

Come share your own bucket filler activities and success stories in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Looking for more great reads about being kind? Take a look at our list of top kindness books for kids here.



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