Create a time capsule with your child

A friend told me how fun it was to read what her 12-year-old self said to her 19-year-old self. "What?" I responded. She was thrilled to share that she had made a time capsule when she was 12. On her nineteenth birthday, she opened it and was re-introduced to her 12-year-old self. Here are some tips for helping your child create a time capsule.

Pick a container. Shoebox size is great or an oatmeal container. Here are some fun items to include:

1. A picture of the child, with the date, age, height and weight, current address, and phone number.

2. Price list of basic items, including a gallon of gas. While their "ten year old self" may not care about the price of gas, the "twenty year old self" will.

3. Small diary or a few journal pages of the child's writing.

4. Put in a few drawings.

5. Lists of favorites are fun to include. Five favorite foods, five favorite movies, five favorite toys, five favorite books. Include five favorite songs your family likes to listen to.

6. Include a "Where I will be in ten years" essay written by your child and "The Perfect Saturday Morning" where you child describes their ideal day.

7. Letter from "ten year old self" to "twenty year old self".

8. Letter from Mom and/or Dad. Write the letter telling the things you love about your child now and your hopes for his or her future. Write about the values you think are important to your family. Do not let your child read the letter. It is for their "future self".

9. Letters from other family members, including grandparents or brothers.

10. Outline of the child's hands and feet. It's always fun to see how a child has grown into an adult.

11. Daily newspaper from your hometown.

12. A lock of hair. It is interesting to see if time has changed the color of your child's hair.

13. A description of your room. If you are able, include pieces of fabric from your favorite just retired clothes, blanket, or a wallpaper cutting.

14. Put in a card you received this year. A birthday card or a valentine's note from Dad will be fun to read in 10 years time.

15. Do not put in random items. Have a reason for everything and label each item carefully. Perhaps a small glass rabbit from Grandma last Easter would be a nice thing to include.

Have fun sealing your box. Pick out a nice color of duct tape and seal it completely, mummy style. Label it with the child's name and a "Do not open until (date)." My son is named Tim so instead of writing "Time Capsule", he thought it was quite hilarious to write "Tim's Tim Capsule". I am sure his 20-year-old self will appreciate that. While some people bury their time capsules, the box can also be squirreled away inside your home in an out of the way corner such as under Mom and Dad's bed.

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Sources:

How to Make a Great Time Capsule

Time Capsule Crafts

Other Articles by Tracey Westphal:

Building Bookshelves: Benefits of Reading to Children

How Not to Dread Crafts with the Children

Connecting Kids to Grandparents