Creating a time capsule is often an assignment in late elementary or early middle school. Even if your child is not specifically instructed by their teachers to make a time capsule, you may be interested in helping them to create one. These are transition times in your child’s life. Time capsules are a great way for your child to acknowledge that change is a part of life and that it’s not always a bad thing.
If you’ve never created a time capsule before, the premise is to lock away a few key reminders of your life as it is now and save it away to look back on at a later time. It may be a milestone, such as high school graduation, or a specific time frame, like twenty-five years in the future. Creating a time capsule to open helps children visualize their futures and forces them to think about how their own life may change—and stay the same—as they grow.
Of course, for a time capsule to really be meaningful to your child, they should be the one contributing most of the items and ideas for it. However, you can assist them by helping them to brainstorm ideas and by adding a few touches of your own that you realize their older selves will appreciate it even if they currently don’t.
Buying your child a special souvenir to add to their time capsule can show them that you value the project, which may help them add value to the project and take it more seriously as well. Maybe gift them with a custom keychain with words from their favorite movie on it, or the latitude and longitude of their childhood home. This is something special now that your child will appreciate even more when they’re grown and uncover the time capsule.
One thing kids often don’t appreciate that their older selves may care about is what’s happening in the world right now. Help your child look up and clip some current events to include in their time capsule, such as important news stories. This will not only be interesting to them down the road, but will help them learn about current events now.
If your child has been holding onto a security item for an overlong time, this may be an opportunity for them to let go of it. After all, by tucking their security item into a time capsule, they’re not actually saying goodbye to it—merely “see you later.” This may make it easier for them to detach. However, don’t push too hard if your child resists this idea. You want the time capsule experience to be positive.
Helping your child to create a time capsule can be a fun and memorable experience for you both. The important thing is to communicate with your child and to let his or her ideas be at the forefront of the time capsule so that when they open it up several years from now, it truly feels like theirs.