Summer Activity: Time Capsule Ideas for Kids

3 min to read
A parent and his son engaging in a time capsule project together

We look forward to summer celebrations each year—no matter our age. And if you have kids, creating a tradition can be even more exciting, especially if it includes revisiting fun memories of the past. A summer time capsule project is a great way to help your kids preserve special moments and celebrate their growth from year to year.

Why Should Kids Make a Time Capsule?

There’s nothing like a time capsule to boost a kid’s curiosity. Time capsule projects for kids demonstrate the importance of memories, inspire creativity, teach lessons on time, and help students look forward to the future. Building a summer time capsule for online students can be an especially creative way to avoid the summer slide and keep your student’s mind engaged throughout the summer.   

But if you want a time capsule to have a real impact on your child, create one that makes your student look inward. Time capsules for children should still be about having fun, but they should also prompt such questions as: 

“What do I want to be when I grow up?” 

“What will the future be like?”  

“What will it feel like to be older?”

What is in a Time Capsule?

Creating a time capsule can be a rewarding activity at any time during the summer. First, find your container. It can be a shoe box, cereal box, shipping box, plastic box, large envelope, large jar or bottle, or any similar item you may have.

Here are some time capsule ideas for students: 

  • Favorite photos from the year: Go through your photos from the year and have your child pick several to print and include in the time capsule.

  • Drawings of friends and memories from the last year: If your child is into drawing, they can also draw pictures of their favorite people and any memories that stand out between the present day and last summer.

  • Crafts: Gather any crafts your child has created in the last year or create some to mark the occasion and include them in the capsule box.

  • Newspaper and magazine clippings (or printed screengrabs): Have your child journal their thoughts and experiences about some recent current events. They can also cut out favorite fashion trends or stories from a magazine.

  • Certificates, trophies, or ribbons: Protect these keepsakes from sports games or club activities by putting them in a time capsule to revisit each year.

  • “A note to Me, from Me”: Have your child write a letter to their future self. Ask questions to get them thinking about their life so far and what it may hold in the years ahead. 

    – Where do they see themselves in one year? Two years? Five or ten years?
    – A list of their favorite things this year
    – A list of goals for the next year
    – A list of predictions for the future

    Follow our time capsule worksheet for full instructions, guidance, and student time capsule ideas.

More Time Capsule Tips

When your time capsule is finished, you need to put it away somewhere safe and out of mind. This may be under a bed, in a closet, in the attic, or just for fun, underground. Here are some tips to help you protect your time capsule: 

  • If you use a cardboard box, wrap it with newspaper or wrapping paper and tape. This will make it more sturdy and secure and deter early peeking. 

  • Put the box in a plastic bag to protect it from dust, dirt, and moisture. Label it with masking tape and a marker so no one mistakes it for garbage. 

  • Hide the box from curious children—or pets.

  • Put a reminder on your calendar that names the location of the time capsule and the day it should be opened.

  • If you hide your time capsule outdoors, you’ll need a container that’s waterproof and airtight. Try a plastic storage container or large glass jar with a lid. 

  • Time capsules hidden outdoors are safest when they’re buried. Just make sure you approve the spot before your child starts digging.

Looking for more ways to keep your kids active this summer? Check out these fun outdoor PE activities that will get your kids moving! 

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