It’s the second day of summer vacation and I’m frantically searching for the beautiful, well behaved children I was so looking forward to spending the summer with. Unfortunately, all I can find are irritable children who claim to be entirely dependent on video games and snacks to survive. Heads tucked in close to their iPads, they resort to snapping at each other over things like YouTube volume, being bumped into, or discovering that someone ate the last handful of goldfish. Banning electronics did little to help, as they now sit outside on the playground alternating between arguing with each other and agreeing that I’m the meanest mom ever for making them play out in the backyard. And some of those sideways glaces may have been deserved as I quickly find myself becoming irritable and frustrated with them. It didn’t take me a long to realize that forcing them to be nice to each other wasn’t going to flip a magic switch – we needed help. And in this house help often comes in the form of a printable, like Screen Time Charts and these Bucket Filler Behavior Chart Printables.
A few years ago my son came home from school with book How Full Is Your Bucket. I love this book because it breaks down the idea of kindness into such a simple and easy to grasp concept – an invisible bucket we each carry with us. When someone is kind they fill our buckets, but when they are rude or mean they take and take until our buckets are empty. The book helps kids to understand how good it feels when their own buckets are “full”. The take-away is that we should find ways to fill each others buckets, and to remember that an unkind word or action can empty the bucket of a friend. This is one book that always has a spot on our bookshelf, and my boys are all familiar with it, so I decided to come up with some behavior chart printables that built on the same concept. Actually, I got carried away and made and entire pack of printables!
Using this as a behavior chart is simple. Just download the PDF below and print out the pages you need! Whenever your child does something to fill another person’s bucket – being extra polite, helping someone without being asked to, giving a compliment or even graciously accepting an apology – whatever it is they need to work on – they get a drop of water to add to their bucket. The more water drops they get, the closer they are to being an all-star bucket filler!
There are two charts included in this pack. The first has water already printed on the bucket, and you can use stickers or a crayon to check off each drop of water as your child earns them. The second chart is blank, and comes with a sheet of water droplets to cut out and paste on to the bucket. I designed both charts because I know my younger boys will love gluing their water droplets onto the bucket, but my older son will prefer to just cross them off as he earns them. I’ve also included two “reward” printables. The first is a certificate you can fill out each time they fill up their bucket. The other is a certificate you can fill out when you’re child has done something especially nice that deserves recognition. I hand these out when I’m really impressed with something they’ve done, and they love receiving them. Honestly, those little bits of paper go a long way in filling their buckets because they know I’m really proud of them.
Right now we have a little contest going, where everyone who collects five certificates gets to have a movie night at the end of the week. We pick up special snacks and stay up late to watch the movie together, and it’s one of their favorite things to do so it’s a great reminder that they need to work towards their goal. At the end of the day I’m hoping these charts help them build better habits, so that kindness comes as second nature.
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