Weekend Kids Activity: Time Capsule

We’re almost half-way through the year and what a year it has been. Before we head in to the second half of the year, maybe take some time to sit down with your child this weekend and reflect by building a time capsule in this fun activity! Time Capsules preserve a moment in time, with special memories, dreams, and aspirations for your child to look back on in the future. This project is inexpensive, takes little effort, and is a gift that can be treasured for years to come!

What is a Time Capsule?

A time capsule is a container that holds present day items, such as photos, newspapers, letters and more. It’s typically hidden away for your future self or someone of your choosing to open. You can hide it for a year or five or ten! There’s no time limit! The rules are all up to you. You can also hide it inside or outside. Shoeboxes are great for indoor safekeeping, while weather-resistant boxes are best for the outdoors.

First: Choose Your Time Capsule Container!

In order to make your time capsule, you’ll have to choose a container in which to store it. Choosing your container depends on how long you are planning on keeping it hidden. For indoor storage a shoe box, wooden box, large plastic storage container, or even a mason jar will work. For outdoor safekeeping consider a weatherproof, non-biodegradable container such as an old metal coffee can, popcorn can, or a box made of stainless steel. After you’ve chosen your container – decorate! This is a great moment for your little ones to get involved. Have them pick out the box or help decorate the box before it’s filled.

Pro-tip: You might want to gather all of your time capsule items together first to determine the amount of storage space you’ll need.

Next….

Help your child fill their time capsule with keepsakes that represent their life right now. This could be drawings, a letter to their older self, photographs, or maybe some special little toys. Let them help pick out the items.

Need some suggestions for items? How about:

  • Their favorite fashion trends from a magazine
  • A newspaper published on the day you make the Time Capsule
  • Certificates/ribbons from sports games
  • School papers/art projects
  • Photos from the past year/years
  • Hand prints
  • A book with a special note
  • A favorite toy
  • The options are endless!

Now that you’ve gotten your box full of memorabilia, it’s time to add personalized messages and lists. A Note to Me, from Me can be a future note to your child that they write themselves. My Favorite Things and Goals for the Year can also be written by your little ones. If your child is too small to write them on their own, write down their answers for them. A Message for a Wiser, Older You can be from their parents, grandparents, or another important adult in their life.

You could also ask them questions and include the answers in the time capsule. Things like:

  • What did you like best about this year so far?
  • What did you like least about this year so far?
  • What are you most looking forward to right now?

Then….

Set a date or year to open your capsule up in the future. A year from now or their last day of high school? Write the date to be opened somewhere on the container. Seal the box before stashing it away in a safe place (but don’t forget where you hid it). Maybe put stickers over the opening, or seal it with a coat of glue so that it can’t be easily opened to prevent peeking!

Lastly….

It’s time to hide your Time Capsule! You can hide your box in a storage closet behind other items or an attic, basement, or garage are also great locations. You want to hide your time capsule somewhere where others will not find it! If you are hiding it outside, make sure it is weather-proofed first. You could bury your time capsule in a garden under dirt where little to no rain hits, or in an outdoor garage. You could also ask a friend or family member to hold on to the container, just don’t tell your little one who has it!

One year, or many years from now, your child will open their time capsule and glimpse a frozen moment of good times with loved ones!