Are You A Bucket Dipper or A Bucket Filler?


For this week’s post, I decided to review a children’s book.  As I was choosing a book, one of my amazing adoptive moms, Beth, offered her newest find-- ”Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids.”  Together, Beth and I wrote this review.  Thanks Beth!!    

Beth writes: The book I read last night to my son was "Have you Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids" by Carol McCloud. Its a 30-page book with illustrations and I think it’s a good book for any age. 


A description of the book:  This book does a great job of explaining to kids that we all carry an invisible bucket in which we store feelings about ourselves. When our buckets are full, we are happy and when they are empty, we are sad. It teaches children that when they fill another’s bucket, they also fill their own, and it feels good to make others happy!  It also introduces the concept of being a bucket dipper. A bucket dipper is a person who hurts other people's feelings by dipping into their bucket.  


Beth adds, McCloud also wrote "Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three rules for a happier life."  It’s 80 pages with more detail, smaller type and fewer illustrations. It talks about other things that fill your bucket besides being kind to others like doing your best and being outdoors, how to not be a bucket dipper and what to do if you dip into someone's bucket.  McCloud further explains what is dipping and what isn't, and that you can even dip into your own bucket by comparing yourself to others or spending too much time being jealous or envious of others.  She also teaches kids how to use their lid to protect their bucket’s good thoughts and feelings.


Bucket Filling Activities

McCloud’s website, “Bucket Fillers,” ( provides a list of useful resources parents can download for free. The list includes a coloring page-- “I am a bucket filler,” an award certificate for bucket filling, and two journal pages for children to complete.  Some examples from the journal pages include:

    Did I fill someone else’s bucket today by being helpful, thoughtful, or kind?

    Did I dip into my own bucket today with negative thinking?

    Did I see anyone else get their bucket dipped today?


 I also discovered this webpage,, which provides ideas for teachers that can quickly be adapted to the home environment.  Some suggestions I gathered from this page are:


  1. Have your child make a bucket and a lid of his/her own and decorate it. 
  2. Have your child complete this sentence: “I am a bucket filler when I ...” 
  3. As a family, make a book of bucket filling ideas from A to Z. 
  4. Talk about your own bucket filling experiences as you practice bucket filling. 
  5. Use bucket filling language; for example, “You’re filling my bucket when you listen to my words.”  
  6. Fill your child’s bucket daily by giving one sincere, positive comment.
  7. Practice family bucket filling. Have each person in the family fill the bucket of another by writing down five reasons why they love them or why they are special to them.


McCloud’s book is a quick read and offers practical strategies to help your child and family become bucket fillers!

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