Things To Put In a Family Time Capsule 

a family time capsule with a heart on it

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we have a tendency to forget that we need to stop and be a child every once in a while. What’s more is that most of the time – that’s all our children want from us; their fun, silly parents to take a break and play with them, or maybe even make something with them. Something like…a Family Time Capsule.

We think every family should invest one weekend to do this fun activity together and if you‘ll just keep reading we’ll tell you exactly why and how! 

Why Create a Time Capsule?

Time has a way of speeding up and slowing down in different phases of our lives. Sometimes it feels like the days are whizzing past us and on other days it feels like things could not be moving any slower. Then, one fine day we find ourselves looking at our old photos and thinking “Woah, is that me!?”, “Were my kids really this tiny?” and “Where did all the time go!” But sadly, photos can only show you so much. We’re often left longing for more. 

That’s why time capsules are special – they hold little keepsakes from those moments in time, which otherwise would be forgotten. Even the act of putting one together is uniquely delightful for each member of the family, irrespective of age! Seeing what each family member wants to add to it, reflecting on your own contribution and finally opening it 15, or even 50 years later, is bound to leave you with warm memories to cherish for a lifetime. 

What is The Best Container For a Time Capsule?

A time capsule is truly successful when all of your mementos remain safe inside it for the entire period of time that it stays shut away. To achieve this, it’s important you use the perfect container. You will want something that is absolutely leak-proof, rustproof and crack resistant when choosing your container – so that definitely rules out wood, glass and low-quality plastic. We suggest you go for a stainless steel container to contain your precious memorabilia. If you plan on burying it, you could opt for a sealing kit as well, but more on burying as an option later! 

To protect your items from moisture damage you may want to line the inside of your time capsule with acid-free paper and add silica gel packets for good measure. Choosing and preparing your container is probably the only banal part of this otherwise joyful activity, but trust us when we say it’s the most important one too! Getting your family involved can make even this part enjoyable. After all, there are so many types of stainless steel containers to choose yours from and you can even get the kids excited by asking them to decorate it! 

Where Do You Put a Time Capsule?

Traditionally, people buried time capsules in their local areas. If you are doing this project with the sole intention of creating sweet memories with your family and aren’t expecting to ever open your time capsule again – go ahead and dig away my friend; bury that box! Just make sure to place it in a polyethylene bag and bury it deep in the ground (below 3 feet) to ensure that it stays safe from damage due to temperature fluctuations, and you are good to go. 

If, however, you are at all intent on being reunited with your family’s souvenirs from the past, we would say hold off on the burying. The International Time Capsule Society estimates that 90% of all time capsules ever created have been lost; any guesses why? Yup that’s right, once they are buried under ground – it’s outta sight, outta mind! 

Instead, we would recommend hiding it away somewhere like a warm storage closet. You could also opt to put it on display as a conversation piece – maybe even put a lock on it, so none of your family members are tempted to open it! When it comes to being tempted to open it, we even have one more idea for you.

Idea : You could consider doing this activity along with another family; maybe a close friend and their family or maybe your sibling and theirs. After making your respective family time capsules, trade them between both families for safekeeping! This way, neither of your families are tempted to open them, nor will they be likely to get lost! Double win!

What Should You Put In a Family Time Capsule?

The most fun part of making a time capsule with your family is choosing what to put in it! If you and your family are having a little trouble getting started brainstorming, check out this questionnaire to spark some ideas. Our list of suggestions might help get your juices flowing too : 

  • Something that represents personality – like a favourite T-shirt.
  • Something that is reflective of the times – Think pop culture! Like a miniature action figure from a favourite movie.
  • Something that speaks to current events – perhaps a newspaper clipping or magazine?
  • Something of sentimental value – like your children’s baby clothes, aww. 
  • Written letters – it’s always amazing to see something written by your old self! 

If you want to learn about what not to put in your time capsule and how to best preserve what you do, check out this article!

How Long Should You Leave a Family Time Capsule Before You Open It?

To answer this question you need to ask yourself why your family is making a time capsule. Are you making it to bond with your family in the moment and have a fun weekend activity to do? Or maybe you’re making it to have something to reminisce over as a family in the future? Below are just a few options you could choose from depending on your answer. : 

  • You can choose to open it on an important milestone – maybe the day your youngest child moves out, or maybe your 25th wedding anniversary! Opening it on a special day makes the day even better because you get to remember where each of your family members started from. It’s sure to bring all of you closer. 
  • You could choose to open it when your children are adults with children of their own to create a beautiful intergenerational bonding experience. – Remember how fun it used to be to go through all your grandparents’ odd knickknacks when you visited them as a child?
  • You could choose to let it go and never open it – let a stranger find it and draw their own meanings from it someday. It could be a sort of poignant tribute to the passage of time. 
  • You could choose to make visiting your family time capsule a tradition – Open it once every couple of years and add more memories to it each time! 

Whatever your answer may be, making a time capsule with your family is sure to be fun and full of love and laughter – so get started! 

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