I don't think anyone could have predicted what 2020 would have in store for our country. We are experiencing a monumental moment in history, and having an open dialogue with our children during this time is important, as is finding a way to remember everything when it's all over. For some, it's all about journaling and scrapbooking, but making a time capsule with your kids is the perfect activity for this year.
If you're like me, you once made a time capsule for a social studies project when you were in the 6th grade, filled with all sorts of gems from the early '90s. I love the idea of capturing little moments that reflect your current life and hiding them away, only to rediscover in the years to come. And while it's easy to get bogged down in the sadness and despair of 2020, from a global pandemic and social distancing to police brutality, I can only hope that out of our new reality, positive change will occur. It is that positive change, more than anything, that I hope will be the overarching theme of your family's time capsule.
Now, the beauty of a time capsule is that you can really include anything you want, but if you need thought starters, check out Big Life Journal on YouTube. Their 2020 Quarantine Time Capsule for Kids video has all sorts of ideas, from detailing your daily schedule (certainly different while remote learning at home), interviewing parents and grandparents, writing down current "favorites" — like movies and books — and sharing what you're grateful for in a COVID-19 world. These reflections encourage everyone to think about the good in their lives, not the sadness reflected in current events. Meanwhile, tangible items like newspaper front pages, magazines, a folded up protest sign, and writing down your feelings about Black Lives Matter and the quarantine are ways you can remember what was happening in the world.
Taylor Leddin, author of The Time Capsule Journal: Children's Edition, tells Romper, "We are living through one of the most important times in modern history. Everyone's lives have been impacted in one way or another, and even if your children don't fully grasp all of what's happening right now, they will someday. That's why we should all — especially families — take the time to document this period by preserving what will eventually become memories."
Leddin says in a time capsule format, this documentation can be as simple as getting a photo box from a craft store and filling it with memories. "Photos of what you did as a family during quarantine, journal entries of important conversations you had around the house, papers and assignments from schooling at home, etc. Not only will this be something your kids will one day love to look back on, but it will also be something they'll want to share with their kids to tell them about the unique year that was 2020."
Tech-savvy parents may want to consider creating a time capsule digitally. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to record a digital time capsule, according to USA Today. Apps and websites like StoryCatcher Pro ($4.99) and StoryWorth ($89) allow you to create video testimonials by providing starter questions, interviewing a family member and answering questions over email, text, and video while offering the ability to add photos, captions, and title cards. When you finish, you'll have a polished and professional looking trip down memory lane for your family's personal archives.
So, whether your memory-filled time capsule ends up being in a plastic box shoved in the back of a closet, buried in the backyard, or stored on your computer, the point is you're preserving memories from an unprecedented time in history. Your family's history. I sincerely hope we'll be able to look back on this time and see how much we've grown as a country, and in my own home, how much we grew together as a family. And if you're planning to include all of 2020's biggest moments in your time capsule, just remember, friends: the year is only half over. You might need a bigger box.