I’ve been learning a lot about the importance of social/emotional development in early childhood. And I came across this book, its called “Have you filled a bucket today? By Carol McCloud” It talks about how everyone has an invisible bucket and to fill your bucket and theirs you must do or say something kind to some else. At the end of the day, the book asks that you reflect on your day, and decide if you filled a bucket today.
I like this book because it starts off by explaining that everyone in the world has an invisible bucket and it shows children from all over the world. Because of this, it immediately relates to children from different cultures. Throughout the book, it continues to depict pictures of children throughout the world while explaining how you can fill your bucket and the things you could do that will not fill your bucket, like being a bully.
The bucket is magical as it shows colorful stars and hearts shooting out of it. This would be a great book to read for the theme feelings. You can also create a project to go along with the book. Have students decorate a paper or inexpensive bucket. Put them on the shelf with the student’s name on them. Each time you see the students say something or do something nice, write it on a star or heart and put it in the student’s bucket that said it and in the student’s bucket that it was said about. Be sure to put the student’s name on the paper.
At the end of the week, read all the papers in each student’s bucket, ask them how it makes them feel to hear the nice words, and how it made them feel to say the nice words. At the end of the unit make the shapes out of positive mobiles, and hang them in your classroom.
In the Art Center put out a paper and label it … “My invisible bucket makes me…” Then have students draw a picture of how they felt when they hear nice things about them. They would be working on creative expression and the identification of their feelings.
In the Math Center, put out a variety of buckets, have the students feel them with the toys throughout the classroom that makes them feel happy. Then have them count the toys and write the number on a piece of paper. They would be working on fine motor development, number recognition, and rote counting.
Put buckets filled with foam in the Science Center, ahead of time, ask the students to think of some kind words or deeds, ask open-ended questions to get them talking. Take the kind words and deeds and attach them to pipe cleaners and have students stick the pipe cleaners in the bucket so that it is filled with kind words and deeds. They can do this over and over again, arranging them in any way that they like. You can also create flowers of all sorts with kind words and deeds on them so that the bucket is filled with lots and lots of color and flowers for spring.
Once each student has had a chance to experiment and work with the bucket, talk to the students in Circle time about growing good things in comparison to not so good ones. Tell them that if they plant good deeds and words, they will grow good deeds and words. But if they don’t grow good deeds and words, they won’t grow good deeds and words. Review the shapes of star and heart.
The library put fun books about being happy and doing nice things in the library for students to look at, put happy faces on those books.
I found such inspiration and enjoyment out of this book and I think that it would help your students/children understand how being kind can make them feel. Hope you are able to implement some of these activities in your classroom.