It’s not very often we hear the words “time capsule” anymore. Sure, your mind may think of a big silver container that is buried for years and years to be unearthed sometime in the future, but realistically, a time capsule can be anything that shows how life was at a given time.
A unique and more personal way to capture the best qualities of a time capsule is to create your own for your kids, with time capsule birthday traditions. A time capsule birthday tradition can be started at any age for your child and continued every year around their birthday or throughout the year.
What’s a time capsule birthday tradition, you may be wondering? Think of it like a baby book, but instead of just information about your little one when they’re a baby, it’s information about their life and yours collected through many years and given to them at a later date.
Whether you want to write them a letter every year until they move out for college or record a video message for them on every birthday and give it to them when they get married, birthday time capsule traditions are a sentimental and easy way for your child to connect with you on a more personal level, and the end result is oftentimes beautiful and emotional. Not sure where to get started? We’ve got some ideas for you:
1. Start an email address
Set up a specific email address for your child (could be their personal email they’ll use when they’re older or a specific time-capsule-esque one), and on or around their birthday, send them an email from your own email about what their life is like from your eyes at that current stage in life. As the years go by, you’ll be able to see and reflect on how much they’ve changed and what goals they may have for themselves as they grow older. You don’t have to limit it to just birthdays either, as you can also send fun videos or small stories throughout the year to highlight that age in their life.
2. Write physical letters every year
Similar to sending emails, this follows the same format but with handwritten letters. There are countless movies out there where a character receives letters written by a beloved family member at a certain age, so why not try it yourself?
Whether you buy special stationery or put it in a keepsake box, your child will truly appreciate receiving all their letters at a different time and age. If you can’t wait to give them all at a later time, when they’re a bit older, give them a letter every year so they can read about your life and what you learned at the age they just turned. Either way, a handwritten letter is a perfect way to preserve what you’re trying to convey.
3. Create a self-portrait progression
If you’re looking to get creative, play with the idea of self-portrait progressions of your child every year on their birthday. Set them up in the same spot every year and take a picture of them, and then curate it into a file or book to keep.
You can also have them join and draw a picture of themselves every year, or if you’re feeling creative too, do a drawing of your own. It’s a great way to see your kid’s creativity develop and change through the years, and it allows you to be just as hands-on as well.
4. Create a journal with mementos
Another creative venture: Create a “junk journal,” and dedicate however many pages you want to the specific years of their life. The tag from their favorite shirt? A receipt from an ice cream night or school certificate? Paste it in the junk journal. Similar to scrapbooking but at a lower maintenance level, this one is fun for both you and your kiddo to look back on.
5. Get the whole family in on it
Reach out to multiple family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc.), and have them write letters to your kid also. It doesn’t have to be every year but could follow a pattern like every 3-5 years. It expands on how other people perceive your child and allows them to cherish memories with these people at a later date when they finally receive them.
6. Record video diaries
Possibly the easiest way to create a special time capsule is to sit down and record a message to your child. It doesn’t have to be too long but could include everything you’d want to say to them in a letter, highlighting the type of person they’re growing into, their favorite things, and hopes you have for them.