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75 Unique Time Capsule Ideas for Families

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The idea of a time capsule is a wonderful thing. You can pass the tradition on through generations, and it can be used to remember important things that happened—to individual family members, to the whole family, or in the world. It's validating for everyone to remember where they came from, but also brings a bout of nostalgia, as well.

There are many ways to make a time capsule. You can use an old shoebox or a wooden box. You can hide it in the house or bury it in the ground. It really depends on how you want to store your memories. The longer you leave the time capsule unopened, the better.

75 Things to Include in a Time Capsule

  1. Photos of family, friends, and pets
  2. Letters to your future self
  3. A lock of hair
  4. Movie stubs from favorite films
  5. A list of favorite songs
  6. Concert tickets
  7. Receipts from special occasions
  8. An old t-shirt
  9. A pressed flower
  10. Postcards from your travels
  11. A map of your favorite place
  12. Your baby's first shoes
  13. Artwork
  14. A copy of a yearbook
  15. Tickets to a play or musical you saw
  16. An item from your wedding day or another important event
  17. A copy of a favorite book
  18. A first car key
  19. A movie you watched over and over again
  20. Your first apartment key
  21. A copy of a diploma or report card
  22. Lyrics of a favorite song
  23. Job offer letters or other important mail
  24. A menu from a favorite restaurant
  25. A list of favorite quotes
  26. An old family recipe
  27. A newspaper from a specific day (a birthday, for example)
  28. The front door key to your childhood home
  29. A love letter
  30. An old family photo
  31. A list of favorite TV shows
  32. Your first car registration
  33. A list of favorite books
  34. A favorite toy
  35. A copy of the deed to your home or a first lease
  36. A copy of a birth certificate
  37. Photos of a wedding day
  38. A list of favorite movies
  39. A copy of a poem
  40. School graduation photos
  41. A copy of a first paycheck
  42. Photos of children's first days of school
  43. A family tree
  44. An old family heirloom
  45. A photo of a favorite vacation spot
  46. A list of life goals
  47. Old photos of you and your friends in high school or college
  48. An old love letter
  49. A photo of a first date
  50. A favorite recipe
  51. Journal entries describing memorable events
  52. A postcard from a place you've always wanted to visit
  53. An old letter from a friend
  54. A copy of a favorite magazine
  55. A list of favorite places to eat
  56. Photos of friends in college
  57. Copies of important and memorable news stories that happened this year
  58. A photo of a first car
  59. A list of favorite things to do
  60. A copy of the first page of a favorite book
  61. A favorite movie poster
  62. A favorite story, joke, or memory written out
  63. Photos of you and your friends in high school
  64. A list of your favorite things about your hometown
  65. Beloved keepsakes
  66. A list of favorite places to go on vacation
  67. Photos of you and your family at different stages in life
  68. A list of things you want to do before you die
  69. Notes from teachers, coworkers, neighbors, or other important people
  70. A first driver's license
  71. An outgrown item of clothing
  72. A copy of a newspaper on the day someone was born
  73. A list of things you want to do in life
  74. Seeds of special plants, fruits, or vegetables
  75. The front door key to your first home.

Tips for Making a Successful Time Capsule

Making a time capsule is a fun way to preserve memories, both personal and historical. If you're looking to make your own time capsule, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure its success. Below are some tips:

  1. First, decide what format you want your time capsule to be in. You can use a shoe box, but if you want to bury it in the ground, consider a sturdier chest.
  2. Next, decide what you want to include in your time capsule. Photos, letters, and other mementos are all great options.
  3. Once you've decided on the contents of your time capsule, be sure to label everything clearly. This will help you (or whoever finds it in the future) understand what everything is.
  4. Make sure your time capsule is properly sealed and protected from the elements. If you're burying it, be sure to choose a spot that won't be disturbed. Make sure to make a note of the location (or create a map!).
  5. Finally, decide when you want to open your time capsule. This can be anywhere from 1 year to 100 years. Just be sure to write the date on the outside of the box so you (or whoever finds it) knows when to open it.

Making a time capsule is a great way to preserve memories for future generations. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your time capsule is successful.

How to Come Up With Things to Put in a Time Capsule?

If you are still struggling to come with ideas of things to put in your time capsule, here are some general categories that can help give you some inspiration:

  • Photos (both old and new)
  • Letters (written by both you and others)
  • Mementos (like concert tickets or report cards)
  • Newspapers/magazines
  • Recipes
  • Maps
  • Tickets
  • Childhood belongings
  • Artifacts (like a family heirloom)

Once you've decided on the format and contents of your time capsule, be sure to label everything clearly and protect it from the elements. Then, choose when you want to open it (anywhere from 1 year to 100 years is fine). By following these steps, you can create a time capsule that will be enjoyed by future generations.

Think about who is going to benefit from the capsule the most. If it's for your great grandchildren, what would be most interesting to them? If it's for future you, what would you want to remember about this moment in time?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Elin Beck