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  • Writer's pictureGHF CAT Team

Fill a Bucket

Learn how showing kindness and appreciation of others can make your home and the world a happier place for everyone, including yourself.

What you’ll need: Plastic or paper cup, glue, scissors, sequins, stickers, scrap paper, coloured pens or pencils, ribbons

What’s it for?

This activity will help you to appreciate the benefits of positive behaviour such as giving, sharing and caring. When we choose to be kind, we fill the happiness buckets of those around us and we also fill our own buckets.

Check In:

Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.

  • How are you feeling?

  • What are you thinking?

  • How does your body feel?


  • Imagine that we all carry an invisible bucket that holds our good thoughts and feelings. When our buckets are full, we feel positive and happy. When our buckets are empty, we feel negative and sad.

  • What fills your bucket? How can you fill somebody else’s bucket?

  • Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a bucket filled with positive and caring ideas.

  • Write down bucket filling ideas to start filling you family members’ buckets with uplifting messages.

  • How do we fill the bucket? When we show love towards someone; When we say or do something kind; When we simply smile or say thank you.

  • Here are some examples:

Cheering up a friend who is feeling sad

Tell your family you love them

Tell you friend or sibling that you like playing with them

Offer to help when you notice someone is struggling

Say good morning to a bus driver

Greet somebody with a smile

  • Now take a cup and turn it into your own bucket by decorating it with the art materials of your choice and add your name. You can make buckets for everyone in the family or they can join you in this fun activity!

  • Cut out several pieces of paper and make sure they are big enough to write on, and the right size to fit in the bucket.

  • Start filling your family member’s buckets with positive and loving comments.

Extra Activity: You could choose one day a week to get together as a family and read all the loving messages.

When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you learn anything new about yourself while you did this activity?

  • What is bucket filling?

  • What is bucket dipping?

  • What fills your bucket?

  • How do you feel when your bucket is full?

  • How do you feel when your bucket is empty?

  • How can we fill somebody’s bucket?

  • Can you think of a person who helped you fill your bucket by making you feel great?

  • Can you think of a situation when someone dipped from your bucket by making you feel awful?

  • Can you think of an example of a bucket dipper?

  • What can we do to protect our buckets?


This activity helps you to learn that every interaction in your day either fills or dips from your bucket and everything you say or do to other people fills or empties their buckets as well. When we fill buckets, it helps to encourage, strengthen and build others and make us feel good about ourselves, filling our own bucket.

Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?

If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures ( Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!

Created by Karolina Koman © April 2020


Creative Arts Used: Art, Creative Writing

Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Wellbeing, Resilience, Relationships


This activity was inspired by McCoud, C., Lundgren, M., Messing, D. (2006): ‘Have you filled a bucket today?: A guide for daily happiness for kids. Northville, MI: Ferne Press.

If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like:

These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.

This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).

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