We are living through a time that will go down in the history books. Your kids may not remember much from the COVID-19 crisis, but they will know that they lived through it, and creating a time capsule can be a really exciting way for them to mark this period of change. A time capsule is a collection of significant goods and memorabilia from the present placed together within a container. This container is then buried or hidden to be discovered in the years to come, either by you or by those who come after you! This is not only a fantastic activity to keep the kids busy, but it will prove to be meaningful, sentimental and educational in the future as well. Let's take a look at how to make one!
First Things First
You’ll need to think about who your time capsule is for. Do you want to uncover it in two years, five years, or even ten? Or do you want this snapshot to be discovered far in the future, by someone you don’t know? If you’re leaving it for a future someone, you’re going to want to bury it in the garden. If it’s for your own family to look back on in the years to come, a hidey hole in the attic or the back of a cupboard will do just fine.
Choose your container
A shoebox will do the trick if you’re planning on hiding your time capsule indoors, but for an outdoor hiding spot, go for a weather resistant, non-biodegradable container such as a box made of stainless steel, or even a sealed plastic one. You might want a bin bag to waterproof it a little further and keep any pesky animals from sniffing it out!
Have your kids decorate their time capsule to make it personal. It will be fun to look back and see how they chose to decorate it when it was created. Add their names, the date and especially the year to mark the memory for future use.
Collect your memories
Now comes the exciting bit - choosing what will go into your time capsule! And here you can get creative. You need to include some 2020 relevant items - a national newspaper with headlines about the current times, a 2020 dated coin and even some 2020 postage stamps.
Have your little ones write a letter to themselves. This could include their current age, their friends at the time and what they have been doing with their time at home. Include a list of their favourite things - food, colour, animals, even what they want to be when they grow up. They will love reading this in the future - seeing what has changed and if anything has stayed the same. A note from mum and dad, and any other family members can be a really nice touch too.
Have you been homeschooling during lockdown? Get arty! Include some of their favourite crafty pieces they’ve created over this time. Include a painted handprint to compare the growth when it’s opened again. A drawing of the family and any pets, with names and ages, will be a special addition to look back on in years to come.
Photographs make time capsules come alive and can spark memories like nothing else. If your time capsule is COVID-19 themed, you might want to include photos of the kinds of things you got up to while in lockdown. Did your family have a favourite game that kept you busy? Pop it in the box! This might be as simple as a pack of cards.
Other ways to remember COVID-19 are slightly on the silly side. Why not add a roll of toilet paper, maybe a mask and even an empty bottle of hand sanitizer? These items have become synonymous with the current events, and will have your kids asking questions - this will be an educational activity both now and in the future. You could even include a little explanation with each item - especially if your time capsule is being left for someone else.
Find the perfect hiding spot
Once the box is complete and sealed, it’s time to pop it in your chosen space and keep it tucked away. If the capsule is going in your garden, make sure you bury it a few feet deep so that it doesn’t accidentally get uncovered during the next gardening session. If you’re hiding it in your house, keep the box in a spot away from eager eyes that might start to feel impatient - you may even find you forgot about it yourself, only discovering it again when it’s time to move house or during the next big clear out.
The excitement of opening a time capsule is just as present whether you’re a child or an adult, so no matter how long you hide it for, it really is worth it. Just have fun with it - make it your own and specific to your family. The key is to include things that will bring back memories and provide talking points for the whole family - and you might just bring joy to someone you don’t know in the future too!