BUCKET FILLING AT HOME
WHAT IS IT?
Bucket Filling program is a nationwide program designed to improve Social & Emotional
learning at school. It is based on a simple concept where we each have an invisible
bucket with the singular purpose of holding good thoughts and feelings about ourselves.
When we are happy and good to others, our buckets become full. When we are sad or
not nice to others, our buckets become empty. We become “Bucket Fillers” when we
are nice to others. Bucket Fillers fill both ours’ and others’ buckets. But when
we make some one feel bad, we become “Bucket Dippers”. Bucket Dippers dip into
both of our buckets.
For more information about Bucket Filling, please visit http://www.bucketfillers101.com.
Inspired by its positive impact at school, I would like to extend this program at home as
well. It is my hope that by building on a concept already familiar with your child, we can
encourage a life- long strategy for being a positive impact on others.
These ideas have been adapted from Ms. Lenigh White and Ms. Rashmi Pujar.
Feel free to adapt these ideas to fit your family’s style. These are simply
HOW TO “BUCKET FILL” AT HOME
1 container per child/participant (Clear buckets work well, but any jar, box or container
1 storage container to hold tokens
Tokens (Any type of sturdy token will do. Good tokens include marbles, pebbles,
poker chips, even dry beans) You could also use the Bucket Forms provided on this
BUCKET FILLING RULES
Each time you catch your child filling someone’s bucket, your child earns 1 token or
Each time your child informs you about someone else filling their bucket, they will earn
a token. If that other person is a sibling, they both earn a token.
If you, the parent, notice an extraordinary act of kindness, feel free to give Bonus
Tokens to reward extra acts of kindness or generosity.
If you catch your child Bucket Dipping, you will remove a token.
For siblings, if you catch your child being mean to their sibling, you will remove a
token from the Dipper and give it to the other child.
Same rules apply for adults also participating in this program!
Although many children will enjoy just earning tokens, most work better if these tokens
can be cashed in for tangible rewards over a period of time. This allows the added
benefit of reinforcing and sustaining positive behavior day by day.
Rewards should vary quite a bit. There ought to be easy ways to earn rewards and
ways that require effort, patience and delayed gratification. Overall, try to minimize
rewards that cost money. There can be a few, but let them be hard to earn. The best
rewards are those that encourage positive relationship building.
Let the kids help with making a list of rewards to get them motivated. Once the list is
ready, apply a “price” for each reward. Prices range from 1 to 100. Once the child has
cashed in their tokens for that reward, the tokens are put back in the storage container
to be reused.
Sample Reward Ideas
Super Duper Hug
Reading a story with a parent
Getting to stay up an extra 30 minutes
Having a cup of hot chocolate alone with a parent
Playing a game with the family or a family member
Getting to choose what to have for dinner
Renting a special movie
Inviting a friend over for a play-date
Having a friend sleepover
Extra computer time
Pair giving a token with praise. After all, that is the best reinforcer and also models
good bucket filling.
Inform your child that if necessary, you, as the parent, can also apply additional
Use parental judgment in developing rewards that are manageable & agreeable to
both of you.
Take a tablet/notebook with you when in public to track tokens earned/lost when away
from home, to apply when you return.
1. Explain to your child that you are familiar with the Bucket Filler program used in
school. Encourage them to discuss/describe it. Let them know that you will be doing this
program at home as well.
2. Even though the concept is the same, explain how it is different from that at school.
3. Show them the containers they will be using. It is fun to let them label and decorate
4. Show them the tokens you have decided to use, which will be stored in the storage
5. Explain the Bucket Filling Rules to your child.
6. Create and post a Rewards List
7. Implement the program and have fun!
8. We encourage even the adults at home to have their own containers.
HAPPY BUCKET FILLING!