How to build a family time capsule with your children

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Creating a time capsule with your family is the perfect way to bond and reflect on your favourite memories. Here, Kirsty Prankerd from Write From The Heart outlines how you can build a time capsule with your children.

We could all do with a little positivity at the moment and reflecting on your favourite memories is one of the easiest ways to give yourself a little boost. If you’ve been spending more time than usual with your family over the last year, why not capture your memories in a time capsule so you can look back on them in years to come?

Below, I’ll be discussing the many benefits of building a time capsule, as well as advice on how you can build your own at home.

Benefits of memories

It’s easy to get caught up in the news at the minute, and it’s all too common to let our thoughts and anxieties focus on the future. That’s why it’s incredibly important to recentre ourselves by taking a step back from the wider world and reflecting on the here and now.

A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that focusing on happier times can help to boost your mood, reduce boredom, improve social connectedness, and reinforce the meaning of life. By gathering up your family to collect your favourite memories and the items that are important to you right now, it can act like a form of mindfulness, helping to take your focus off the negatives and making you feel more positive about your current situation. This can then teach your children to have a more optimistic outlook on life, no matter what’s happening around them. Sharing your memories can also help make your family feel more connected as you look back on all the special moments you’ve spent together so far.

How to build a time capsule

Creating a time capsule with your children is easy, just follow the four steps below:

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Choose where to bury it

The first step to creating your time capsule is deciding where you’ll bury it. Will you dig a hole in your garden, place it under your floorboards, or store it at the back of a cupboard? Deciding this now will determine what kind of box you’ll store your memories in (we’ll discuss this in more detail later), so make sure you do this first.

Decide when it’ll be opened

Before creating your time capsule, you’ll also want to think about how far into the future it will be opened. For example, will your family be opening it ten years into the future, or will you leave it buried in your garden until a new generation or family finds it?

Answering these questions in the beginning will help you decide how personal you’ll make your time capsule. Small personal items might hold lots of memories for your family, but if you intend for someone else to discover your time capsule, then you might want to include a note explaining why each object was so important.

While you’re deciding with your children how far in the future your time capsule will be opened up, you can discuss what you think the world will be like then to remind each other that there are always better times ahead.

Collect different forms of memories

The next step to making your time capsule is deciding what to put in it. Have a think about what sums up your life at the moment and what the most important events and memories are to you right now.

While you’re deciding what to put in your time capsule, it’s important to collect different forms of memories. Everything from newspaper clippings, diary entries, objects, and photographs can help us form a more complete view of a certain time period, so remember to look all over the house for things that might represent time as it is now.

Things that you might add to your time capsule include:

• News headlines
• An item of clothing
• A face mask
• Photographs
• Diary entries from the whole family
• Examples of things you are doing to pass the time, such as drawings or crafts
• Keepsakes and mementos

Find the right container

Once you’ve decided which memories you’ll document, you’ll then need to choose a container to put them all in. You’ll want to pick one that has a lid so you can keep all your memories safe and secure for years to come. If you’ll be storing it inside, such as at the back of a cupboard, then any box will do. Popular options include an empty shoe box, storage tin, or a personalised keepsake box.

If you’ll be burying your time capsule underground, then you might want to choose a sturdy option that will last a long time. Carboard boxes will disintegrate after years in the ground, so look for plastic or metal options instead.

We’ve all been focusing on the little things that make us happy recently, so why not collect them in a time capsule? By following the steps above, you can gather the family together to reflect on your favourite memories, while storing them away to look back on in years to come.

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