Encouraging Kindness with Bucket Filling Gem Jars

Encouraging Kindness with Bucket Filling Gem Jars

I’ve always encouraged my kids to “be kind” and “use kind words” but when there was an excess of crabbiness and bickering in our household, I invested in a book called ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud‘. It literally changed our language around the concept of kindness to the point where “You are dipping in my bucket!” and “Did I fill your bucket?” have become common phrases in our house.

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Using a simple metaphor and explaining kindness in a way that children can grasp immediately, this book encourages positive behavior and explains how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis. It’s the perfect introduction to self-awareness and feelings, and beautifully helps kids visualize how their actions and words impact others.

To immerse ourselves a bit deeper in the concept of this book, I created a worksheet for the kids to help think through and specifically list out what “fills their bucket” and “dips in their bucket”. It was fun discussing the results as a family and interesting discovering what differences they had based on their individual personalities and/or love language(s).

Have You Filled a Bucket Today - Bucket Filling Worksheet - Free Printable - projectsinparenting.com

Click Image to Download Free Printable

In an effort to encourage more “bucket filling” behavior into our daily life, as well as help visualize and reinforce the book’s concept of how “filling other people’s buckets also helps to fill our own”, I created these Gem Jars.

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Supplies for DIY Gem Jars:

General rules for our Gem Jars:

  1. Mom or Dad rewards an individual for “bucket filling” behavior / acts of kindness with a big or small gem – at their discretion, based on the specific act.
  2. There is no removal of gems for bucket dipping behavior. This is meant to detour any tattling on negative behavior, as our goal is to focus on and encourage positive behavior.
  3. It is perfectly acceptable to perform a bucket filling act specifically to ask for a gem. However, Mom or Dad may deny the gem for any reason (you’d be surprised at some of the stuff they come up with, lol).
  4. Children are encouraged to inform parents of their sibling’s kind acts so the bucket filler can receive a gem.
  5. When a child fills their Gem Jar, they receive a reward. Reward options are provided by Mom or Dad. Example rewards include: A specific toy/book/gift we know they want, 1:1 time with Mom/Dad like going to a movie, dinner at their favorite restaurant, out for ice cream, etc.

We have been using our Gem Jars for almost a year now and I’m happy to report that there has definitely been an increase in kindness and helping behavior around these parts. While I can honestly say I saw an immediate impact on my children’s behavior after reading this book and using our gem jars, I’m not going to pretend it’s some kind of miracle fix. I am just happy that it helped them become more self-aware and realize how their behavior impacts the people around them. Sure, sometimes they go out of their way to do kind things only because they want a gem – but hey, that’s the point! To be honest, I am especially proud of those moments when I see them clearly making a conscious effort to do something kind, when otherwise they may not have done so. When they are actively trying their best to be kind, everyone is happier. By putting happiness into terms the kids can understand and use, I think it really has helped them understand the effects of their actions and words on their own well being, as well as the well being of others. I couldn’t be more proud of my little bucket fillers!

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” -Dalai Lama

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book

Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book Banner.jpg

We recently invested in a full-size digital piano and expanded our song list from my original post: Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Sheets. I also switched the orientation of the pages (from horizontal to vertical). Doing so allowed me to create a beginner piano music book that sits nicely in the sheet stand. All I had to do was print them out, slide them into page protectors and insert the sheets into a 3-ring binder. To label our keys, I created these Removable Color Coded Piano Key Labels. Another option that coordinates exactly and are the perfect size for full-sized piano keys / keyboards are these Color Coding Dot Labels (they just don’t remove as nicely).

Simple enough for my 4 year old to catch on quickly – this color coded piano music book has been such a confidence booster in my children’s ability to start reading sheet music.  Watching their faces and sense of accomplishment after completing a song is absolutely priceless. The best part – they are having so much fun learning!  🙂

To create your own Color-Coded Beginner Piano Music Book, including ALL NINE SONGS, click here.
Color Coded Piano Song Pack Banner

If you are simply looking to add to your collection from my previous post – below are the new songs…

Row Row Row Your Boat – FREE Download:
Row Row Row Your Boat

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday Banner

You Are My Sunshine and Baa Baa Black Sheep
sunshine and black sheep banner

Are You Sleeping? (Frère Jacques)
Are You Sleeping Banner

And just in time for the holidays, I added Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Christmas Music Music Banner

Hope you enjoy these music sheets as much as we have!

“Music is what feelings sound like.”

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