Create a Family Time Capsule
Summer holiday activities: How to create a family time capsule
If you’re looking for some fun activities to do with the kids this summer, Kirsty Prankerd from keepsake company Write From The Heart has shared her top tips for creating a special family time capsule.
While the school holidays are a great chance to spend more time together as a family, you may be running out of ways to keep the kids entertained near the end of a six-week break! So, if you’re in need of some inspiration, why not try your hand at something a little different? A time capsule is a brilliant way to get the kids engaged with arts and crafts and even learn a little family history in the process.
Below I’ll run through some of my top tips for turning a time capsule into a fun day at home with your little ones.
Choose a vessel, opening date, and hiding place
Before you can get going on the contents of your time capsule, you first need to decide on a few important things. Firstly, consider what vessel you’ll be using to store your family keepsakes. An airtight box is important no matter where you’re going to hide the time capsule, as even in a relatively stable environment like a garage, basement, or a wall cavity in your home, the contents can be vulnerable to water damage, mould, or pests like moths. Taking these precautions should give you the best chance of having successful results, so that however many years down the line, your children or even future generations will discover well-preserved items from the past.
If you want to opt for the traditional route and bury your time capsule in the garden, it’s even more important to find a vessel that is both water and airtight so that you can protect the contents from damp soil and insects. Stainless steel containers are a good choice, and you can actually find these online for affordable prices. It’s also wise to add a few sachets of silica gel (such as those found in new shoes or medicine packaging) to help absorb any moisture and write letters or print photographs on acid-free paper, as this will preserve for much longer than standard varieties.
Once these practicalities are decided, your children can start the fun part of choosing an opening date for your time capsule. Try to guide them into a fairly realistic time frame, which might range from ten years in the future to see how they’ve grown up, to a full generation away when their own children might open the time capsule. This can be a great exercise in imagination as you ask your little ones to imagine what their life might look like in the year 2050 or beyond!
Take family photographs
One of the first things you’ll want to include in a time capsule is plenty of family photographs. This can be a good way to get older kids involved, too, as they can have the responsibility of taking, picking out, and perhaps even editing the photos. To add an extra special touch, you might display these snapshots in personalised frames that show the date you all created the time capsule, as well as everyone’s names, or pictures of beloved family pets.
Try to take pictures in places that mean a lot to you as a family, such as at the top of your favourite hike, at a relative’s house, or at a special spot in your neighbourhood. This is also a great way to get everyone outside enjoying the summer weather, as well as make your chosen activity last all day. You might give your kids some inspiration by showing them how old photographs used to look, and imagining how future generations discovering these pictures might feel.
Write letters and draw pictures
Your time capsule will need some important details to go alongside it, including the date it was buried or stored away and some facts about the people who did so. So, once you have all agreed on an opening date, set your kids the task of writing letters either to themselves as grown-ups, or to future generations even further down the line. This will be better suited to older kids who are more confident in their writing skills, but your little ones can also get involved by drawing pictures or making cut-and-stick collages for the people who will find the time capsule.
A good exercise might be asking your children to draw themselves at their current age, and then draw how they might look in the future once they’re all grown up. Or, they might draw themselves doing some of their favourite sports or hobbies to show future generations what we used to do for fun.
Research your roots
As well as including information and photos of your immediate family members, it’s also a great idea to do a bit of research into your family history as a whole. Facts like whether you have always lived in this country or your local area or moved from a different place entirely will give future generations a better idea of their family history, so why not take a look back in time and brush up on your own? Resources like Ancestry UK can be great for finding this kind of information, and you may even discover things about your ancestors that you never knew.
For example, if you live in a house with a long family history, such as a property or piece of land that has been passed down through the generations, this is a great thing to talk about in your time capsule. This way, you can include photographs and stories about your relatives or older ancestors as well as your family in the present day, making your capsule even more interesting for those who open it. This can also be a fun way to spot any family resemblances between generations!
Making a time capsule can be a great activity for you and the family this summer, and it can be tailored to kids of all ages. For more top tips and advice on all things parenting, explore more articles here on the Toby Tiger blog.