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Make a Family Time Capsule
A time capsule can be a great family project to commemorate a special occasion or document a year. Fill it with photographs and mementos, and open it on a specified date. Or, put it away for as long as you like. This is a history project with meaning!
Make a Family Time Capsule
Ages: Adults and Kids 6 and Up
Duration: Over One Hour

    WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 – Empty 40.7 oz NESTLÉ® NESQUIK® canister (washed and dried)
  • 18” – 20” piece of aluminum foil, 12” wide
  • 8 1/2” x 11” piece of construction paper or plain paper
  • Colored marker pens
  • Cellophane tape
  • Nontoxic craft glue
  • Clear or colored plastic wrap
  • Small, airtight plastic food storage bags

    HOW TO DO IT

  • Get the family together and discuss memorable events from the past year. Decide what special events you want to commemorate in your time capsule. Some should be specific to your family, such as a child's first day at school, or a family vacation. Others might be relevant to that particular year, such as a favorite movie, popular song or news event.

  • Determine how long you want to put your time capsule away. Is it something you want to look at in 1 year, 5 years or on a future special occasion such as a 21st birthday?

  • Decide where you will keep the time capsule. It should be out of sight (it might be tempting for kids), but somewhere you can easily find it.

  • Prepare the time capsule:

    • Clean and dry an empty NESQUIK 40.7 oz canister.

    • With the yellow plastic cap removed, wrap the aluminum foil all around the outside of the canister. The foil will extend about 3” above the canister. Do not trim, as you will fold this excess foil over the top after you fill the time capsule.

    • Cut out a label for the time capsule from a piece of paper, and have the kids write your family's names and the date on it in colored marker pen, and tape it to the outside of the canister over the foil.

    • Cut out other fun shapes from colored paper and tape or glue them to the outside for added decoration.

    • After filling the time capsule (see instructions below), wrap clear or colored plastic wrap around the canister. Fold the excess wrap at the top into the top of the canister.

  • Filling the time capsule:

    • Ask everyone in the family to contribute an item – clippings, photographs, letters, arts and crafts, toys or just about anything else that fits in the capsule.

    • Protect the contents from decay. Put them into individual, airtight plastic bags.

    • Leave out any substance that could decay and damage the other contents. This includes rubber, wool, wood, PVC, and any perishable or edible item.

    • Mark everything clearly so you or others will know where each item came from and who included it when the time comes to open the capsule.

    • Fill the capsule. Fold the excess aluminum foil over the top before you close it with the plastic top.

    TIPS

  • If you are planning to keep your time capsule for 5 years or more, have each family member include a letter to the older version of himself or herself. Mention favorite food, music, books, movies and hobbies.

  • Black and white photos will not fade as fast as color photos.

    FOLLOW-UP FUN

  • Document your family's special events and activities by making a time capsule each year.

  • Research your family's history and make a family tree.

  • Start a tradition of setting family and individual goals for each year, and then see how many goals your family has accomplished.

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