Here's the 2 most common ideas we use in our house:
1. The Bubble.
2. The Bucket.
Kids are super imaginative and literal, so these can work really well. I'll lay it all out... but obviously explaining this to them comes in parts and needs to be repeated. The Bucket one is from a book.
1. The Bubble
"imagine we are all inside our own bubble! You can't see it, but it is there! (*stretch your eyes and act amazed and lay the magic on thick 😅)
We have to be carful though! 😲 because, if you Jump (*upwards affliction* okay, you get the theatrics...) if you Jump into someone's bubble it will pop!!... and that will make them upset. So remember: don't push into their 'personal space' - into their 'bubble'
Did you know our bubble changes size!? Yes, it does! If we are having an exciting time, our bubble gets smaller... and when we feel upset, angry or shy, our bubble gets bigger. Sometimes when it's big only one person, like mummy, is allowed in. So, remember: try not to pop other peoples' bubbles by jumping or pushing into their personal space."
2. The Bucket
"We all have a Bucket! You can't see it, but it's definitely there! Our bucket holds our happiness. When we are happy our bucket is full, when we are unhappy our bucket is empty.
We can fill our bucket with happiness by doing something we like. But, it fills even quicker when we share our happiness with other people. When you are 'nice & kind' to other people, you fill their bucket and your own bucket too at the same time!! When you give Daddy a kiss, or give the new kid at school a friendly wave, you fill their buckets and your own. This is called being a, 'bucket filler' have you filled anyone's bucket today?
Unfortunately, sometimes people can be a, 'bucket dipper' :( bucket dipping is when you make someone feel upset, like hurting them, or being rude. A bucket dipper will try to take from your bucket and put it in their own bucket to be happy. But it never works! They start to empty your bucket by being not kind and it empties their bucket too, even if they don't know it yet.
So remember: try to fill buckets everyday and you'll also fill your own, that's what, 'bucket fillers' do.
But be carful you don't 'bucket dip' because stealing someone else's bucket never works to fill your own."