Play and theme-based learning with our children

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Time Capsule 2011

Think archival. At least you need to if you’re planning  to bury a time capsule for 5+ years in the ground. I’m still unsure about how exactly we’ll store ours.

For an airtight container, we re-purpose and decorate a tea canister. I consider duplicating a (humorously mustached) one in a glass jar, but fear glass is too dodgy. My son recently broke a snow globe on the keys of our piano, so I might be a tad sensitive at the moment. The least reactive, most stable, safest material for a time capsule is probably a screw top hard plastic jar (a good use of old Nalgene bottles).
We’re looking at our (Kiwi Crate) calendar, and I’m explaining to my son how the year 2011 is ending, and January 1st marks the new year, 2012. Our time capsule “captures” this moment in time and holds the memories for us to find far in the future.
“Where does it take our memories? Will our memories go away? How will we find them again?” H urgently peppers me with questions.
“We’ll put pictures, drawings, and toys in our time capsule, seal it up and hide it away in a secret place. Then, in 10 years, we’ll find it and open it so we can remember a bit about your life now,” I reply, wondering if that made any sense.
“Will I be an adult by the time we find our time capsule?” He asks, hopeful.
“Almost, but not quite,” I say knowing the time will come sooner than I can possibly imagine right now.
Since I’m a photo-booking hobbyist, I most enjoy choosing photos which represent H’s interests and the family.  We take a new one of the family, just for the occasion.
When it comes to picking out toys for our time capsule, we hit friction. The need for small toys isn’t the problem, but finding ones meaningful enough to merit disappearing into our capsule proves difficult.  H doesn’t want to part with most of them. I suppose one way around this is to let my son have access to the capsule, but I’m in it for the long-term commitment, so I gently coax him into the idea. We walk around the house, digging through his toy bins, looking for the sweet spot of small, worthy (related to Legos, animals, vehicles), yet dispensable.  Once our choices are assembled, H waves good-bye.
Since my little guy is an avid train fan, he makes fresh train drawings for the time capsule (he refuses to squirrel away any of his trains). On the back of one of his drawings, we write down some of his favorite books and toys, and I include a few choice quotes (the most common we hear these days: “I want what I want!!”).
If you want to get serious about making a time capsule, The Library of Congress offers a good online resource.
How are you marking the passage of time with your kids?

Happy New Year!

This post first appeared on the blog, and I'm re-posting here for the sake of keeping memories in one place.

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