from DRK Kindertagesstätte KUMULUS, Düsseldorf

A project based on the book by Carol McCloud: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

How did the project come about?

Mary (5;4 years old, name changed) is a very talented girl who grows up bilingual (German/American).

When talking to her parents, her father wants Mary to use his mother tongue American more frequently in everyday life. He asks for tips on how to make his language more attractive to Mary.

Mr. B. then visits our morning circle and presents the children with a book in English. Mary translates this book into German for the children.

This experience inspires Mary and shows her that understanding and speaking two languages is something special.

Mary now wishes to present this book to all groups of the day care center. She succeeds very well in this.

The content of the book then becomes the subject of the group. The children are happy to fill someone else’s buckets.

Mary had the idea to translate this book into other languages. She first thought of a few (Turkish, French) and then more and more languages. Until we have finally reached 13 languages, all of which are represented in our day care centre.

But what do we do once we have really translated the story into 13 languages? We ask the children in the morning circle.

The children wish to bind a book from all translations at the end and to design it themselves. Then the kids want to sell the book.

Puhhh! The children have ambitious plans… Now we need help.

Our „buckets“ were filled by all the families we asked for help! A big thank you!

The illustrations were painted by Mary and three other girls.


We are very international.
Our day care centre unites children from many nations. With the project described here, we want to make this even clearer for the children. They should learn what other languages sound like and how they look written. We believe that the book proposed by Mary is an excellent way of contributing to the children’s social and emotional development.

And here come the individual pages of the book, followed by the children’s comments on how they can „fill a bucket“.

And these ideas came up in the discussion:

Mary: „If my little sister is looking for her doll and I find her, then I filled her bucket. Or if Mom has too much work at home, I’ll help her. Even when changing diapers. … „I’ll fill a bucket when someone drops something and I pick it up.“

Marina: „I’ll fill the bucket when I set the table at home.“

Miko: „I give food and drink to the caterpillar Nimmersatt. At home I help my mama.“

Emirhan: „I give a flower to Mom and Dad.“

Jacques: „I fill a bucket when I say hello to someone nice.“

Maty: „I fill a bucket by saying nice words to someone. Or I can help Mom cook. „And if I clean my room all by myself.“

Leandro: „I’ll paint Mom and Dad a nice picture with a plane on it.“

Sophia: „I’ll fill my sister’s bucket if I play nice with her.“

Lucia: „I can paint a picture for mama.“

Merle: „I clean my room, then Mama is happy. „And I’ll fill a bucket of gas if I apologize after a fight.“

Iven: „I fill moms and dads buckets when I dress alone and don’t cry in the mornings and evenings.“

Mino: „I fill buckets when I’m setting the table while Mom and Dad are asleep.“

Helene: „I’ll fill Clara’s bucket when I help her find her when her water bottle’s gone.“

Talia: „When I plant mama’s flowers.“


Date of publication in German: June 2017
Copyright © DRK Kita Kumulus, Düsseldorf