Are you looking for an afternoon activity to involve your kids in which will keep them entertained for a few hours, whilst also getting them thinking and providing them with long term benefits? If you work in a nanny job or have kids aged 5 or over, perhaps a time capsule is the idea for you!
To make your time capsule you will need: A mixture of toys, souvenirs, photos and non-perishables, a box, a spade, a suitable plot to bury your capsule.
A time capsule is a package that you bury in the ground for a long period of time, with a plan to open it again at a specific point in the future. To make the time capsule you will first need to find a container, perhaps a metal box (or something similarly non-biodegradable).
Then, together with your charges, it’s time to put a selection of surprises for their future selves inside - a selection of toys, photos, reading materials, trinkets, models or game cards. Help your charges to choose things which you think will be interesting for them when they open it up again. Please note - it is a good idea to wrap individual items in plastic before putting them in the time capsule to avoid water damage.
When you’ve loaded up your time capsule, make sure it’s watertight and well closed, pick your spot and bury your time capsule.
Commercially-manufactured sealable containers are sold for protection of personal time capsules; some of the more durable waterproof containers used for geocaching may also be suitable.
As example, "Earth's Black Box"—a city bus-sized structure with steel walls, battery storage and solar panels located at remote site in Tasmania—will accumulate and electronically store comprehensive climate research and related data, including human population, energy consumption, military spending, and policy changes etc. The box was conceived to tell future civilizations how humankind created the climate crisis, and how it failed or succeeded to address it.
It’s important to remember how the landscape can change over a long time period, so best to pick somewhere on family-owned private property, in soft soil. The ideal place would be a vegetable patch or some part of the garden which is likely to remain untouched but also will not ruin the garden when your charge comes to dig it up as a responsible adult (or at least a responsible teenager)!
Finally, you will need to decide with your charges when the box can be opened. Pick a time frame 10 years or above for maximum effect. Your charge will need to write him or herself a note (or seal a letter to their future self), including a hand-drawn map showing where the box is so that it can be found later on without too much trouble! Make sure to keep the letter somewhere safe!
This is a great activity for a quiet afternoon, so get your spades and get stuck in! And if you want more ideas to keep your kids busy this Christmas, check out our Elf Door Craft Ideas your children will love!