Bucket time is part of the Attention Autism approach created by Gina Davies, with the aim of developing children’s shared attention skills in a group setting. During bucket time, the children are provided with motivating and visually exciting experiences that encourage them to focus their attention for extended periods of time and to take part in an adult-led group activity.

Although developed specifically with the needs of children on the Autistic spectrum in mind, Bucket Time can be a very useful tool for any children who struggle to engage with adult-led activities and to focus their attention.

There are 4 stages to Bucket time, the videos we have made for your child to watch at home focus on stages 1 and 2. Once you are familiar with the structure of the sessions, you can lead your own sessions using items you have at home.

Stage 1: The bucket. The aim of the objects explored from within the bucket is to grab the attention of the child with visually motivating and stimulating items. The child will gradually learn to focus on the adult and the activity they have chosen, watching what they are doing more consistently.

Stage 2: Attention builder. The aim in this stage is to extend the amount of time that the child is able to focus for, introducing activities that build anticipation. 

At both of these stages:

  • The adult is aiming to be the most motivating and interesting thing in the room. Try to remove other distractions and motivators where possible. 
  • The child is watching the adult, not carrying out the actions themselves. Only the adult touches the objects used. At later stages, turn-taking and independent exploration are introduced.
  • Use minimal language, focusing on simple keywords which describe the current action you are carrying out.

For further information about Attention Autism approaches: