We’ve all probably heard about time capsules that have been unearthed during construction projects or ones buried to commemorate an important event.
Perhaps you’ve participated in finding articles to place in a box to be buried at school or church. Have you ever thought of making a time capsule for your family?
Making a time capsule is a fun activity that everyone in the family can be involved in. Spending an afternoon choosing the treasures you want to include also leads to much discussion about family history and funny memories.
You don’t need to actually bury your capsule and it’s probably better that you don’t. That way if you happen to move, you won’t forget and leave it behind.
You will be placing your capsule inside your home in a an area that has no direct sunlight and doesn’t get damp.
The attic, basement, or a closet are good choices. Anything that you would normally use for storage in general will make a good receptacle for your family artifacts. You can use a large pickle jar, shoe box, or go all out with a purchased archival box.
Deciding what to put in your capsule can lead to many interesting ideas. Try to include things that depict your everyday life, favorite things, and those stories that are repeatedly talked about around the dinner table.
The following are a few ideas to get you thinking about things your family may want to include.
- Children’s art work, school work, report card.
- A few family photos. (printed on acid-free paper).
- Favorite toy or pieces from a board game you love to play.
- Height, weight, physical notations for everyone in the family.
- A store receipt showing the price of bread, milk, and other items.
- A list of popular movies and fashion trends.
- Coins, stamps, and sports memorabilia from your favorite team.
- Things that remind you of a vacation or family outing.
- A note to your future self about who you are now and who you think you will become. (parents can add a sealed envelope describing what makes each child unique).
- Wrappers of favorite treats or candy bars (thoroughly cleaned). Do not include any food.
Tapes, discs, and other things stored using technology may be outdated by the time you open your capsule.
The gadget you need for viewing would be hard to store and may not even work, so it is best to write everything out on paper. That will also give you a good chuckle over penmanship when the capsule is opened.
Let the kids decorate the outside of the capsule. Make sure to write the date you made it on the outside along with the date you plan to open it. Some families make capsules to open every year and some wait for 10, 15, or 20 years down the road.
Make certain to leave a reminder where you will be sure to see it. A good time to open your family time capsule is when the family is already gathered for a special occasion like Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving.