Carol McCloud’s ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids’

A few years ago, during a relief teaching day with a class of 1’s (six-year-olds), I had the very good fortune to come across a narrative, Carol McCloud’s ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids’.

“Bucket filling” is holding those good feeling and good thoughts about yourself.

Given the enormous turmoil going on in the world at this time, the nourishment of positive mental health outcomes for kids has never been more important.

During a long teaching career, a very important notion was one of “student equilibrium”.  Not just kids, but “all” of us like to feel settled and emotionally prepared for any things which may happen during a day which may upset that equilibrium to the point that it takes away our focus on what we should be engaged with.

At the start of a teaching day, I tried to find and give credit to someone doing something well and “particularly” if it involved a student helping or showing generosity to someone else (“bucket filling”) and the amazing benefits it generates to a kid’s self-esteem i.e. confidence, feel-good endorphins, etc.

Of course, few of us, if any, are going to avoid all conflict on the Highway of Life, so kids need to acquire important life skills like conflict resolution, which is a whole blog topic in itself, to be hopefully covered soon.

Supposedly, bullying is rife in society, but many kids understandably don’t seem to know the difference between banter and bullying.  Banter is us having a good-natured lend of each other. Bullying is the nastiest form of “bucket dipping”.  It is targeted, frequent and, as we see, very emotionally and at times physically damaging to the recipient’s self-esteem and sense of wellbeing.  “But” be mindful that a great bucket filling achievement is to help turn a “bucket dipper” into a “bucket filler”.

Of course, kids need ideas for “bucket dipping”.  For example, these are just the beginning of Carol McCloud’s A to Z:   

A – Ask if you can help  

B – Be a bucket filler 

C – Cheer up a friend with a funny

D – Donate to a special group 

E – Elaborate about someone’s good efforts or skills (Words of Affirmation) 

F – Friends have fun and hang out  

….and so on to the letter Z.

I was so impressed with its more-than-valuable messages –– which are so important not “just” for little kids but also for us big kids, too –– that I bought a number of copies of the book and gave them to friends who had kids and to those who worked with at-risk kids.

Of course, Carol’s book became a staple read to “every” class I visited as a relief teacher; from preps (5-year-olds) to grade 6’ers (11-year-olds)

Please look at the narration of the book via this YouTube link (about six minutes) and you will see why I value this book so highly, in the way that it communicates to kids and everyone else an ideal way to acquire daily happiness and the sense of purpose which flows from it.  I also very much like the mention of “bucket dippers”, which negates the terrible effect of bullying, which unfortunately exists in our communities.

So, again, a narrative presentation…just six very valuable minutes:

Feedback about this video will be very welcomed, so please feel free to comment below.

There also seem to be so many wonderful spinoffs of this “Happiness” concept put together by Carol and her team, as follows.

To listen to the Bucket Filling songs go to music playlist here . Perhaps, an entertaining way to get some key messages across at an event involving kids?

The book can be accessed by visiting Wordery, a book company in the UK. Worldwide shipping is offered for free (at the time of publication of this blog). The books and other resources are also available from Amazon and eBay. 

Carol McCloud’s website

Valuable “Bucket Filling” Resources:

“Bucketfilling Journal” Questionnaire Page 
This is a daily questionnaire page for self-reflection, to use as a companion to the book, Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness.

“Bucketfilling Journal” Lined Page 
This is a daily, lined page to use for recording thoughts, feelings, and experiences about that day; to use as a companion to the book, Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness.

Bucket Filling from A to Z Check-list 
This is an A-to-Z list of ways you can fill a bucket, to go along with the book, Bucket Filling from A to Z.

Bucket Filling from A to Z Check-list with Boxes 
This is an A-to-Z list, with checkboxes of ways you can fill a bucket, to go along with the book Bucket Filling from A to Z.

30-Day Bucket Filling Pledge Sheet 
This is a 30-day pledge sheet to track your bucket filling.

“Buckets and Dippers” by John Valusek 

Disclaimer: Neither Jeff Zielke (Mr Zed) nor CommonHealth Kids receive any financial reimbursement or have any financial affiliation with Carol McCloud’s business, products or associations, or any other links or businesses mentioned in this blog. This blog is offered purely in recommendation of valuable resources for parents and teachers.