– By Tracey Stewart

As a parent, I love when I find opportunities that help illustrate the beauty of “The Golden Rule.” It’s for this reason that I love the book, Fill A Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for the Young Child, by Carol McCloud and Katherine Martin, illustrated by David Messing. If you have young kids and you haven’t seen this book yet, order it now. It’s so sweet!

When my kids were younger, I designed a craft project to do with them that I thought was a nice complement to the book. We bought some wooden hearts and found a small bucket. On the wooden hearts, we wrote messages to each other: “I love you,” “Would you like to play with me?,” “Kisses.” It was really sweet to see how excited my kids got about the idea of sharing love and to watch as they handed out their hearts to their loved ones (their classmates, their babysitter, the dog).

Imagine we all have a bucket inside of us that holds all our feelings. When our bucket is full of good feelings, we feel great. When our bucket is empty or has bad feelings, we feel sad. We can fill someone’s bucket with good feelings when we say or do nice things. We can empty someone’s bucket when we do or say mean things. Go out and share your love with others.


  • Bucket
  • Mod Podge
  • Colored construction paper
  • Heart stencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint and brush
  • Sharpies
  • Wood heart cutouts

READ Fill A Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness For Kids to your kids.

FIND a bucket. We found ours in the gardening section of our local hardware store.

USE your heart stencil (or free form hearts or cool anatomical hearts from online printouts or old books) to cut hearts out of colored paper.

DECORATE the outside of the bucket with your paper hearts by collaging them on using mod podge.

PAINT your wood hearts and let dry completely.

WRITE messages to your friends and family who will be receiving each heart. If your child can’t yet write, help them out. They will have sweet ideas and will know what they would like to say.

FILL your bucket with your hearts.

GIVE out hearts from your bucket of love, swapping with your friends to fill each other’s buckets. Hopefully, there will be nice ones for you to get in return!

Here are some examples of things you can say to fill someone’s bucket with good feelings:

“I love you”
“I really like your drawing”
“You make me laugh”
“Thank you!”

Here are some examples of things you can do to fill someone’s bucket:

Give someone a hug.
Help someone clean up.
Make someone a card.
Make someone laugh.

[This idea was inspired by the book Fill A Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness For Kids]


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