‘Growing Up With a Bucket Full of Happiness’ Book Review

                                                                                          This post contains affiliate links.

Like many other counselors (or people in general), I went gaga for bucket filling. I used How Full is Your Bucket? and Have You Filled a Bucket Today? with my classes last year and they were a hit. I bought Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life when I needed something for my 4th graders that are already familiar with the other books.

Elementary counselor's review of Growing up with a bucket full of happiness.


Roxanne’s review at Books That Heal Kids is where I first heard about the book – she lists the different topics/chapters that I will add here. Her review (and the reviews on Amazon) are all glowing.

  • BFF = Bucket Fillers Forever
  • How To Avoid Dipping
  • Accidental Dipping
  • Thoughtless Dipping
  • Selective Dipping
  • Group Dipping
  • Dipping on Television
  • Long-Handled Dipping
  • Use Your Lid
  • Use Your Lid for Others
  • Advanced Bucket Fillers
  • When A Lid Doesn’t Work

I focused my lesson with this book on ‘Using Your Lid’ which is the idea that we can protect the goodness in our buckets when someone tries to dip. This is such a wonderful concept but the book did not do it justice. The chapter wasn’t engaging enough to use as a read aloud, and it also didn’t give concrete ways for students to use their lid (at least not clear and concise enough for mine).

The other ideas/concepts shared in the book are also great – unfortunately the actual content in the chapters is not as great and doesn’t lend itself (in my opinion) to classroom lessons. I can imagine this book being useful when used weekly in the classroom, in a middle school where these concepts are part of the culture, or in a small group focusing on being positive members of the school community. At the time I prepared for my lesson, I couldn’t find a single lesson online using this book. I may look again next fall to see if any other counselors are more successful with it than I was.

The lesson for me (no pun intended) is that there are definitely ‘big kid’ things I can do with bucket filling (beyond ‘How can you be a bucket filler?’) but that I won’t be using this book to present them.

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Hello, I’m Sara!

With 10 years of experience in
elementary school counseling,
I get to serve in a different way now
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and meeting the unique needs of all
our diverse learners.

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