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Parenting Journey: Have you filled a bucket today?

Self-care is a frequent topic on home visits in our Parenting Journey Home Visiting Program at The North Grove. One of the ways that we talk about self-care with parents and children, is by using the book, ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’  by Carol McCloud.  

In her book, McCloud presents the idea that each of us carries an invisible bucket with us that makes us feel great when it’s filled up and makes us feel down when it doesn’t have enough in it. The things that fill buckets are different for everyone, and we can all help fill our own and the buckets of others.  

Our team picked up small buckets and cut up coloured strips of paper to make a visual activity about bucket filling to take on home visits.  Since parents are often the main bucket fillers for their children, on visits, we talk about filling the buckets of others, and finding the things that, as parents, fill our own buckets.  

By writing down the positive things that fill your bucket, when you need to, you can look back at the things that have worked before! 

There’s always room to add more things to buckets too.  Your child might come home from school and tell you they met and played with a new friend today – that could be written down and added to their bucket.  Your child might tell you that the meal you prepared is their favourite, which might fill their bucket, and might fill yours too! 

The North Grove recently hosted an Open House for partner organizations to come visit our space and learn about all of our different program areas.  Our team displayed a copy of ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’ and a small bucket at our booth and asked folks if they wanted to share with us what helps fill their bucket.  We got some great responses! 

If you want to try this activity out at home, you will need:

  • a copy of the book, ‘Have You Filled a Bucket Today?’ (or not, you can talk about bucket filling without it)

  • a small bucket or basket,

  • some slips of paper

  • something to write with

If you try it out, we’d love to hear about it!

Written by Andrea Cole, Home Visiting Coordinator.


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