Thursday, May 22, 2014

Creating a Time Capsule for Your Kids

With graduation season being in full swing, there are a number of ways to celebrate and congratulate your children. But one idea we love is creating an annual time capsule of their favorite memories for them to reminisce on once they’re much older. It’s a long-term project, but it’s one that will be well worth the effort when you see their grown-up faces light up like they were children again as they look through their past. Although creating one is fairly self-explanatory, there are a few elements you may overlook. Here’s how to create an annual graduation time capsule for your kids:

Materials needed:

  • An airtight, sealable container
  • Paint/coloring utensils
  • Construction paper/decorative materials
  • Mod podge

Decorating the time capsule will probably be the most enjoyable part for your kids, so make sure you take the time to do it together! Decorate the container with fun family photos or their names and current ages in big, bold font. The brighter and more personal you make it, the higher the likelihood it is for you to find it years later.

Items to place inside the capsule:

  • A letter from you, family members or friends
  • A letter to their future selves
  • A questionnaire they filled out about themselves or about their year
  • Drawings, artworks or crafts
  • A meaningful toy (that they wouldn’t mind letting go of)
  • Childhood trinkets
  • Souvenirs from travels
  • Graded schoolwork
  • An SD card or USB stick with digital memories: pictures, music, important news/events/pop culture of the year, etc.

The most important part about the contents of the time capsule is that your kids actually have a connection with the items you’re putting inside. It’s possible to get caught up in the project and make the memory box more of your own and what you want to remember of your kids. However, those memories may not produce the same visceral reaction in your kids as it does to you. The intended purpose is for your children to come back from their college graduation, marriage or even having kids of their own and feeling that intrinsic, instant connection with the items inside.

Possible locations:

  • Attic, basement, closet, any hidden part of your home
  • Backyard
  • In the woods or your child’s favorite outdoor play spot

While burying the time capsules outdoors provides a higher sense of mystery, it can prove problematic with animals digging it up or simply forgetting the exact spot you buried it. If you decide to go with the outdoor route, make sure you apply clear markers around the area with items like heavy rocks or ribbons on trees. If you choose to hide the time capsules in the safety of your own home, the only advice is to hide it well – where your kids cannot reach.

In an age where most of your memories can be stored digitally, creating a time capsule of real, tangible keepsakes for your child can be the most sentimental gift of all. What would your child choose to preserve for the future?