New Year's Idea: Make a Time Capsule
Remember your fun-crazy-happy-mad-busy life, just as it is right now.
- An empty cookie or popcorn tin:With the holidays behind you, that shouldn't be too much of a problem! Choose one that's big enough to fit everything you want to stuff in it!
- Duct tape:That stuff fixes everything! Grab a couple of rolls from the garage.
- A favorite family photo:Use one that shows what your family is really like—grass-stained pants and stuck-out tongues included.
- Permanent markers or paint pens
- Embellishments:Rhinestones, ribbon, beads, felt, scrapbook accents, etc.
- Hot -glue gun:Kids and hot glue don't mix, so make sure you do all the gluing!
- Fillers:Photos, lists, cards, concert or play programs, newspaper articles, ticket stubs—anything that has meaning in your life right now. If it's something they (or you) can't part with, take a picture of your child holding it and print it up.
- Take the lid off of the tin and give the bottom part to the kids.
- Hand the kids some duct tape and let them start covering the rest of the tin with strips of tape. The shiny, silvery finish will give your time capsule a Space Age-y feel and might also help keep your tin from rusting apart if you store it somewhere where it could get wet.
- While the kids are covering the tin, use the duct tape to "frame" the photo in the center of the lid. When you've taped the photo down, continue covering the lid (but not the photo!) with strips of duct tape.
- When everyone's done duct taping, have the kids write "[Your name here] Family Time Capsule 2011—not to be opened until New Year's 2021" on the top using the markers. (For those of you who aren't patient enough to wait 10 whole years, feel free to change the date and open it in one year, two years or five years.)
- Embellish it: Give your kids free rein of the tin and let them beautify it. Let them add a rim of rhinestones or ribbons or decorate it with marker drawings. Any hot gluing should be done by you but, of course, the kids will need to dictate where everything goes!
- Fill it up! Start filling your time capsule with snippets of life that you think you'll want to remember years from now. Not sure what to put in it? Here are some ideas:
- A list of all of the things you ate for dinner this week (and it's fine you grabbed Subway sandwiches three nights in a row between soccer practice and ballet—you'll have plenty of time for gourmet home-cooked dinners when the kids go to college).
- Photos of your family throughout the year.
- Pictures that your kids drew or crafts that they recently finished.
- A list of all of your favorite TV shows, movies, songs and CDs.
- Tickets to a concert, play, show or event that you recently attended.
- Newspaper articles with interesting current events.
- Photos of your house, your yard, your dog and your next-door neighbor's outlandish pink flamingo display.
- A DVD of your family playing a game, talking or even dancing (that is, if you dare recording your infamous chicken dance for all of posterity).
- Put the lid on the capsule and add another strip of tape all the way around the seal to make it a little more waterproof.
- Store the time capsule somewhere safe (but not too safe—you have to be able to find it again) until the designated time. Toss it in the attic. Bury it in the backyard. Mail it to your sister's house for safekeeping. Put it wherever you know you'll be able to find it when the time comes.
- Years from now—when the kids are bigger and you're a little grayer—you'll all get a kick out of taking a peek back in time at what was going on 10 (or five or two ...) years ago with this great New Year's idea. (Did you really manage to carpool six kids to soccer practice while simultaneously planning dinner and participating in a PTA meeting via cell phone? Maybe there are some things you won't actually want to remember.)
- Try sending an electronic message for your friends and family members to open in the future at Electronictimecapsule.com.