Firstly, yes I’m still here, sorry that it’s been 6 months. I’m not good at regular blogging.
Today I’m bringing you a picture book that’s much more of an obvious moral lesson than usual.
The concept here is simple. Everyone has an invisible bucket which they carry around with them all the time. When you treat people kindly, you are filling their bucket, being unkind dips into their bucket. I like how it covers the fact that people often dip because their own buckets are empty, and they’re trying to gain happiness by taking from others, but that when you dip like that, actually you end up emptying your own bucket, you can’t fill your bucket by dipping, you fill your bucket up, by filling other people’s buckets. We got this book at Christmas, and have read it repeatedly, both children (3 and 5) understood it straight away and we have started referring to kind things as filling people’s buckets. There is a video available on youtube (check links) so you can enjoy this book even if you can’t find a physical copy.
Activity 1 ( buckets)
The first and most obvious activity was that I got each child a bucket (I bought candyfloss buckets, it was cheaper than buying a bucket). They decorated them using sharpies. Though you could also glue pictures on. We have then been using these in an ongoing way, where if someone does something that fills someone else’s bucket, I write it down and place the note in their bucket. Showing that as they fill other people’s buckets, their bucket fills up. Personally, I’m not planning on rewarding them or anything, we are just using the buckets as a visual representation of how their bucket fills when they are kind to others. They are very happy at how full their buckets are getting, and I do notice them trying to be kind. You could also write uplifting words and pop these in their buckets too. If you want to make it more interesting, or have very large buckets, write on wooden blocks/lego or similar.
Activity 2 (Scratch art)
Bright crayons or pens
Washing up liquid
This is a great craft, which is loads of fun to do, but also creates some beautiful little cards to give to people to fill their buckets.
First cut out a few shapes, we did hearts because they are nice and easy, you can even draw round a biscuit cutter to get the shape right. You can do the shapes whatever size you like, but I find biscuit size to be nice and manageable for getting them covered in colour.
Use brightly coloured pens or crayons to completely cover the shapes in rainbows of colour. Try to get kids not to just colour each heart in one solid colour. Or if they do, make some yourself, and see it as an experiment.
Mix acrylic paint with a squirt of washing up liquid, measurements don’t need to be exact, I used a little more paint than liquid (I did experiment with poster paint, it doesn’t work well).
Paint thickly over the hearts and leave to dry (some may need a second coat)
Scrape patterns using cocktail sticks (or if you’re like Jumbles, 5, just scrape as much of the paint off as you can).
Give the hearts to people to make them smile. Maybe write notes on the back, or stick them on red card to make a greetings card.
Why not come up with your own ways for you and your kids to bless friends, family or neighbours. Perhaps bake some cakes and take them to neighbours? Or buy some toys and food and donate them to the food bank.
There is a second book (How full is your bucket? For Kids) about bucket filling, which can help to build on this book, by giving the story of a boy and his interactions. This is perhaps even more helpful for kids than the original book, so do have a look at that as well in the links section. However, I think that it’s useful to read the original book first to explain the concept.