Let’s talk about creating a family time capsule, shall we? What is a time capsule made of anyway? And what items could you put in there? How long should you wait before opening it? And why does the creation of a family time capsule present such a great opportunity for some quality family time? Let’s dig in.
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Why You Should Create A Family Time Capsule
Sharing in a family time capsule project is an opportunity to spend quality time together getting to know your family members even better and sharing in the creation of something lasting that contains a lot of personal value. An activity like this brings everyone together, instills a sense of belonging, invites creativity and introspection, and unites the entire family in a single cause. Whether you include just immediate family or extended family, it is an event that everyone will be glad they had a part in.
What Should You Put Inside Your Family Time Capsule?
No two time capsules will be the same because no two families are the same. But there are some ideas for items that every family might consider valuable to the telling of their story and their place on the timeline. Here are a few of my favorites.
- A family tree.
- Pictures of family members in the current year. (Place them in an acid-free envelope.)
- Handprints or footprints of babies or children including age, height, and weight.
- All About Me Worksheets – Include names, ages, occupation or school attending, favorite color, favorite food, favorite way to spend free time, etc. Also, include a section about home. Where do you live?. What does your house look like? What is hanging on your walls? Who are your favorite neighbors?
- Letter To My Future Self – Hopes and dreams for yourself in the future and also what the writer thinks the world might be like when the time capsule is open.
- Letters to other family members. Write to one another sharing your hopes for each other in the future and maybe sharing some advice. Or write to future grandchildren or children, introducing them to the family and letting them know what they have to look forward to.
- Our Best Family Stories Collection – Have each member of the family spend twenty minutes recording a favorite or funny memory the family shared.
- The Best of the Best – Current Year – (list top-selling books, top-rated tv, and movies, who won the super bowl, top baby names, most popular technology, best-selling games, etc.)
- Current Events Page– List what’s topping the news, whose president, what concerns is the world most concerned about, what recent discoveries have made the headlines, what technology is on the horizon, etc.
- Our Favorite Local Places – Get the family together and decide what are your favorite local shops, restaurants, and attractions.
- A newspaper (preferably a Sunday paper with sales flyers)
- Objects of Importance: Each member should include an item that is important to them personally. A magnet from a favorite place, a matchbox car representing a teen’s first car, a menu from a favorite restaurant, a copy of a favorite book…
- A Piece of Technology – You could include the box from your Ring Doorbell, an old phone (minus the battery), a controller from your Xbox, etc.
- Report Cards, Check Stubs, Ticket Stubs, etc.
- Receipts: A grocery store receipt can tell a story all by itself. But also consider receipts that reflect the cost of gas, clothing, utilities.
- Family Recipes: Copy Granny’s Chicken-n-Dumplings recipe or Mom’s Apple Pie recipe. Food in many ways tells our story and recipes make a great addition to your family time capsule.
Where Should You Bury Your Family Time Capsule?
The real question is, should you bury your time capsule? Most experts agree that burying a time capsule is asking for trouble. The elements are one thing, water damage is ruthless, bugs are hungry, and directions to your precious time capsule can encounter unexpected confusion in the future. For example, say your time capsule was left under the largest Maple at such and such park. That sounds pretty specific but what if the Maple gets cuts down or hit by lighting and trimmed. Or the Park is renamed. Street names can change, hurricanes and weather events can completely alter a landscape in a single night, and directions can get lost together over the decades.
A better alternative is to seal it and place it in a dark cool place in your home. Don’t put it in the basement where flooding or the elements can still get it but rather higher up, out of the way, safe and sound.
What Should You Make Your Family Time Capsule Out Of?
Contrary to popular belief, burying your time capsule is actually not recommended. But, if you decide to take this option I don’t blame you. It feels a bit like burying treasure. And there are some popular options available like this Stainless Steel Waterproof Time Capsule from Jasni or these Time Capsules from FuturePKG.
If you decide to keep your family time capsule safe and sound and right at home, you can just grab a basic tote. Airtight is best. You can always put documents inside of fireproof bags to be extra safe and then store them inside any chest or decorative box with a lock. I have heard of people using old-fashioned suitcases too. For smaller time capsules a simple Mason Jar is often used. For larger time capsules a lockable storage locker is a great choice. Use your imagination. I like the idea of getting a medium-sized chest and decoupaging family photos to it.
How Long Should You Wait Before Opening It Up?
Once you have your time capsule lovingly gathered and carefully packed, it’s time to decide how long you want to wait before opening it. Some families chose a particular event, like Mom and Dad’s fiftieth wedding anniversary or the youngest child’s twenty-first birthday. Other families pick a particular year. Say 2050. But most families pick a set year from the date it’s locked. Ten years, twenty years, thirty years. Maybe on Christmas Day or another significant event. It doesn’t matter what you decide as long as everyone agrees to gather. There is no wrong answer here.
Check Out Our Family Time Capsule Printable Bundle
The Family Time Capsule Workbook is designed to walk you through the entire process of creating your time capsule. The workbook includes everything you need to organize and decide which items to include, About Me worksheets for individual family members, letter projects for you to write to your future self, other family members, or family members yet to come, a basic family tree, worksheets to share current events, top trends, and best selling products of the age, as well as worksheets to share your favorite hometown places and plenty more. Grab your workbook right here.
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