Ideas for time capsules

Updated April 17, 2017

Human beings place a particular importance on the past, in large part because we are mortal. Maintaining a connection to the past creates a sense of continuity with those who have come before us. For this reason, creating a time capsule can be an engaging project for families or students.

Newspapers and Magazines

If you were to open a time capsule placed in the earth by people who lived 100 years ago, you would likely find that many of the things that were important to them seem strange to you. In fact, if at age 60 you open a time capsule you had filled at age 15, you will probably be amused at these relics from your past that you had forgotten about. Thus, a time capsule gives people a chance to better understand the concerns and issues of the past. Place a newspaper and/or magazine in your time capsule to give someone at some future date a sense of what people and society were like in your time.

Items From Your Time

Add a personal belonging to a time capsule, such as a hair ribbon, a toy or a CD with photos of, for example, your family or students at your school. Items could also include a sports medal, your school's mascot costume or clothing/accessories items that are in vogue at the time your time capsule is being filled. For a family capsule, add items that children have grown out of, a framed family portrait and a copy of your family's favourite dinner or dessert recipe.

A Message to the Future

Perhaps one of the most poignant items that you could place in a time capsule is a letter to the future. Your letter could talk about problems the world faces as well as the hope you have that in the future these problems will be solved or resolved. For a time capsule that you intend to dig up in 30 years, place a diary, scrapbook or favourite book from childhood. Include a list of what you hope to accomplish by the age you will be when you intend to open your time capsule.

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About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.