This book is about how everyone walks around holding an invisible bucket filled with all our good thoughts and deeds, and with our good or bad actions we either fill up or dip into our own or other people’s buckets. That way when we are sad or feeling lonely it is because our buckets are empty. It is actually a really nice book that explains to children how our actions have consequences for ourselves and other people (it is even covers bullying).
Anyway, this craft is inspired by this book, and can be used as a visual cue to show children that what they say and do affects not just others but themselves as well. If something unpleasant happens to them or they are unpleasant to others, then you could take a heart out and then ask them how it feels, and how they could work on filling up their bucket again. Equally, when they are nice or someone is kind to them they can add a heart. At the end of each day they can then check to see if their buckets are full (just like in the book). I have just started doing this with my youngest charge, and when I left the room at bed time she said something rather touching, and I told her that not only had she helped fill my bucket, she had filled her own. That seemed to make her really pleased, and with any luck that feeling will act as a reinforcement for her behaviour.
To make your own hearts you will need:
- 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda*
- 1/2 cup of corn flour
- 2/3 cup water
* don’t use baking powder (like we did the first time round) – it won’t work, it will create an amazing reaction but you will be left with sludge rather than clay.
1. Pour all the ingredients into a pan and cook over a medium heat and mix together
2. When it starts to come together like play dough take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes
3. When cooled, kneed it out to make it soft
4. Roll it out and cut out your heart shapes.
5. Place them in an oven at 100c for an hour to dry them out
For the bucket I bought a little craft one from Hobby craft, but you can use anything lying around at home.
I did add a small spoonful of powdered paint for the colour while it was cooking, but if you don’t have any powdered paint you can easily paint them once they have dried out.
This craft may help development of:
- Kindness and empathy toward other people
- Understanding that their actions may have positive or negative consequences