Some people look at a bucket and see something that can carry things. I look at a bucket and see an opportunity for kindness. Even a small bucket can carry a whole lot of happiness with just a little bit of effort.
It started when I was invited to KPMG for their "Take Your Daughters and Sons To Work Day" event. One of the themes for the event was Being Kind and Respectful and they wanted the children to hear about Choose To Be Nice. I think the best way to teach children about kindness is to show them how. I have found that with just a little direction, they are eager to find ways to do good for others.
At the KPMG event, we talked about the choices we have in how we behave every day. We talked about how we can choose to be nice or not and what that means to the people around us. It’s fun to hear their responses. They understand why it’s important to be nice and encourage others to be nice.
Once we were done talking, all the children signed the Choose To Be Nice promise banner. They loved making a promise to be nice to the very best of their ability. Then it was on to the buckets. I wanted the students to be able to practice. We turned little ordinary metal buckets into extraordinary containers of kindness. It’s a simple concept that can have a big impact in a family.
Step 1: Decorate the buckets. We used stickers, washi tape and paint pens. (Don’t use glitter glue unless you have a long drying time, we learned this the hard way).
Step 2: Write a dozen or so kindness messages on slips of paper that will fit in the bucket. A few suggestions from the students:
You are loved.
We want you to have a great day.
Remember you are special to us.
Your smile lights up the whole room.
Thank you for all the great things you do.
Step 3: Put the bucket in a place where anyone can reach it and let the whole family know that when someone needs a pick-me-up, all they have to do is reach into the bucket for a note to be reminded about how important they are.
What I like about this project is that it gets children thinking about how much of an impact they can have. This is one small way, but it’s just a start. When they see how they can have an influence on others, they want to do more. They think about other, even bigger things they could do.
Please, try this at home. Let me know how it goes. Send me pictures of your buckets. Share the messages you write. Let’s spread some kindness today and every day!