Stress Bucket Activity – Exploring and Managing Stress

The Stress Bucket is a well-known analogy in mental health, likening stress to water filling up a container. Just like any container, if it becomes too full, it risks breaking. Therefore, it's crucial to find ways to alleviate the pressure (calming techniques). Our Stress Bucket printable assists children and teens in exploring and managing daily stresses, whether it's exam pressure or the challenges of school life. Find out more about the benefits of using this resource below!

Member Account Includes

  • Access over 800 downloadable mental health resources for children and teens
  • Resource packs, activities, games, worksheets, teaching resources and more
  • Seasonal themed resources
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Request your own resources
  • Cancel anytime

Resource Info

Our Stress Bucket resource for children and teens is a powerful tool designed to explore and manage stress. This two-page resource offers a unique visualisation of stress accumulation and relief, empowering young minds to understand and address their stressors effectively.

About this resource:

On the first page, children and young people are encouraged to identify and write down their stresses, symbolised as water flowing into a bucket. As stress accumulates, the bucket fills up, representing the increasing pressure and overwhelm that stress can cause. The second page features a tap, where children list their calming techniques as a means to release the pressure and alleviate stress. By utilising this resource, children and teens gain valuable insight into stress management strategies and develop practical skills for coping with challenging emotions.


  • Visual Representation: The stress bucket metaphor provides a tangible and relatable visualisation of stress accumulation, helping children and teens conceptualise the impact of stress on their well-being.
  • Enhanced Self-Awareness: Engaging with the stress bucket resource encourages introspection and self-reflection, enabling individuals to identify and articulate their stressors more effectively.
  • Empowerment Through Expression: By writing down their stresses and calming techniques, users feel empowered to express their emotions and take proactive steps towards stress management.
  • Practical Coping Strategies: The resource facilitates the exploration and implementation of calming techniques, equipping children and teens with practical coping strategies for managing stress in real-life situations.
  • Promotion of Emotional Regulation: Utilising the stress bucket and tap encourages the development of emotional regulation skills, as individuals learn to recognise and address stress in healthy and constructive ways.
  • Building Resilience: Through regular use of the stress bucket resource, children and teens develop resilience and self-regulation skills, leading to improved well-being.

Here's how to use the Stress Bucket resource effectively:

  • Begin by introducing the concept of the stress bucket to children or teens, explaining how stress accumulates and can become overwhelming if not managed properly. Our prompts help to explain this.
  • Encourage them to take some time to reflect on and identify their current stressors, writing them down in the stress bucket. These could include academic pressures, social challenges, family issues, or personal concerns.
  • Once the stressors are listed, guide them to brainstorm and record calming techniques or coping strategies on the tap page. These could range from deep breathing exercises and mindfulness practises to engaging in hobbies or seeking support from trusted individuals.
  • Discuss the importance of regularly emptying the stress bucket by implementing the calming techniques whenever they feel overwhelmed or stressed.
  • Encourage ongoing reflection and adjustment of their stress management techniques as needed and encourage them to take the stress bucket with them through every day life. They can begin to mentally imagine their stress bucket filling up, helping them learn to identify the times they need to slow down and self-regulate.

This resource is for members only. Not a member? Sign up here!