A time capsule is a sealed container holding items that give people in the future a record of a particular time period. It's like sending a message into the future.
A huge time capsule was placed under the administration building of what was then Oglethorpe College in Atlanta, GA, in 1940. It's not to be opened until 8113! It contains microfilms, miniature models, and films dealing with all aspects of life at the time. The vault's location has been recorded in libraries, universities, and temples across the world so that everyone knows it's there and when to open it.
Parents, grandparents, and children (even if they live far away from each other) can collect items to put into their own family time capsule. You can do a time capsule that your family can open at a reunion in the future to share old memories, or a time capsule for your great-great-great-grandchildren to open and find out all about you.
There are time capsule societies you can contact (search on the Internet or go to the library) that can give you information and advice on doing a time capsule to be opened many years from now – 50, 100, or even 1,000 years from today. You can even register your time capsule so that there will be a record of it.
To set the mood and open a discussion about how important keepsakes from the past can be, share the bestseller
A Little Something.
To create your family time capsule, collect personal items like family photos, school artwork, greeting cards, letters, clothing, family stories, even some favorite music (with a note about why you like the music or the memories it evokes). You can also clip out current articles from magazines and newspapers, include clothing catalogs with the latest fashions, current postage stamps, and make a list of popular movies, celebrities, and expressions. Don't use paper clips or staples because they'll rust on your materials.
If you plan to store your time capsule for a long, long time, keep in mind that newspapers are often highly acidic and can quickly deteriorate (as well as contribute to the decay of other items in your time capsule). To prevent this, photocopy the newspaper article onto archival quality paper.
Make some video or audio recordings and include those. Talk about yourself and what's happening in your life. Again, if you're going to store your capsule for a long, long time, keep in mind CDs, for example, when stored at room temperature are only designed to last for a decade or 25 years at most.
Put everything into a sealed storage container (you can purchase specially-designed time capsules) with the current date. Set a date to open the time capsule some time in the future. For example, if the purpose of the time capsule is to evoke memories for your present family, a date of five to ten years is nice because it's long enough but not too long.
Mark the container, "Do not open until…". Store it in a safe place. Now everyone has something to look forward to! Your family can plan to get together for a big party to open the time capsule.