DIY Kindness Jars: When we fill others up, we fill ourselves, too!

Using kindness jars to fill and ourselves has been a key to increasing happiness, cooperation, and kindness in our home.  Read on to discover how you can achieve this, too!
When I was still working in the elementary school, a program was implemented school-wide based on the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud.  I found the common language we used throughout the school to be extremely powerful.  It joined us together, and taught the concept of kindness in a way that was relatable, visual, and easy for children to understand.  The curriculum and book are about how, when we fill others’ “buckets” with kind words and actions, they feel happy.  And, as a result, we fill our own buckets, too!  I love this book, and my kids and I read it often.  If you’d like a copy, you can find it by clicking on the picture below.

*Full disclosure:  I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  The link provided for this book is an affiliate link, which means if you purchase through that link I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). **I’m a part of this program as a means for me to raise money to donate to charity.


How do we achieve this daily kindness at home?


 I took the concept from this book and implemented “The Kindness Jar” in our home.  It is one of our simplest ongoing projects, but has made a huge difference in how we treat each other and view our actions.  We chose to do a jar instead of a bucket, because I love the visual effect it creates.  Because a jar is clear, we can easily see how full it is, and therefore how much we have done to fill others up with kindness.  We use brightly colored pom-poms to represent each act of kindness.


Each of my boys created his own jar by decorating it.

We then brainstormed acts of kindness that might fill those jars.  Some examples the boys came up with are:

  1. Picking up their toys without Mom having to ask.
  2. Making a card for someone.
  3. Sharing a toy.
  4. Setting the table.
  5. Giving a hug.
  6. Donating a toy.
  7. Feeding the dog.


Of course, the possibilities are ENDLESS.  Each time I catch them in the act of doing something kind, they get a colored craft pom-pom and drop it into their jars.  Their acts of kindness range in nature, but no kindness, no matter how small or large, goes by without acknowledgment!


These kindness jars are amazing, because you can actually SEE how much kindness has been spread by watching the jars fill to the top.

Other parents I have talked to offer a larger reward when the jars are full.  This is a great way to go, because there is nothing wrong with a little motivation and, of course, celebration at the end of a huge accomplishment!  In our family, however, we don’t have a reward at the end.  The reward is simply watching the kindness grow and the feeling of pride and pleasure that comes from simple acts of kindness.  It works for us, so I’ll take it!


I’ve found so many things are easier in our home as a result of implementing these jars.  Instead of always getting upset with my kids for fighting, or trying to explain why certain behaviors aren’t acceptable, etc., I find it is much easier to simply say, “Remember our kindness jars.  Is this behavior something that makes others feel good?  Is this something that allows us to fill each other up?  If the answer is “no” we probably need to do something different.”  It’s not foolproof.  We don’t have a perfect household.  We all yell sometimes.  We all get impatient.  We all have difficult days.  But, overall this EASY project that took less than 10 minutes to create has fostered a happier relationship amongst us all.  And it brings more attention to, and highlights, what we should be focused on:  the GOOD.
do it yourself kindness jars

DIY KIndness Jars


What simple tools do you use on a daily basis to bring gratitude, kindness, or helpfulness into your homes?  Have you filled a bucket today?

You can also join our 31 Days of Kindness Challenge here!


Much love,


P.S.  You can find links to other children’s books promoting community service and kindness here.
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