DIY Time Capsule

Following are some time capsule ideas, because as we always say, the hours seem long, but the months and years go by quick. New Years can bring on nostalgia, as can birthdays, end of summer, new school years. Whenever you start, is a good time to start.


  • Seal-able, sturdy container.
  • Resealable plastic bags (if papers going in the ground)
  • Keepsake Items
  • Labels
  • Crayons, Markers, Pens
  • Paper


1. Pick a container; TIP: If burying a time capsule in the ground, a stainless-steel container is suggested. Or, we used a PVC pipe with a lid. Love to show you. But, it’s in the ground.

2. Fill with fun memories. See suggestions; TIP: If burying a time capsule in the ground, all papers inside of resealable plastic bags in your container.

3. Decorate to your liking.

4. Find a great place to store it above ground or in the ground.

Extra ambitious? Make a treasure map of its location

What to put in your time capsule?

Fill the time capsule with items that strike an emotional chord. Newspapers of the day born are popular. So are sentiments from you!


Newborn/Infant Time Capsule Suggestions

dad and newborn

  • Hand written notes from parents and grandparents. 
  • Handwriting is becoming increasingly special. Consider a letter to your baby with your hopes, dreams and promises.
  • Photos you print out.
  • Little shoes.
  • Newspaper printed on their birth date
  • Anything that makes you smile and sparks a memory you can share.

Toddler to Preschool and Beyond Time Capsule Suggestions:

family toddler preschool and beyond

  • All of the items in the newborn section, plus:
  • The answers to our Questions can be a really fun audible recorded or written inclusion
  • Write your child a letter at each birthday and add in annually as a surprise to their older self. This is more difficult than it sounds wrapping up a year of their special lives in a letter. I think 'most years, or some years' will have to suffice in our household :)
  • Have your child build their future as a timeline. Here is how:

If you have access to old school printer paper (the kind you see in cartoons, that is connected with the little dots for easy ripping), or can make an accordion-like paper, the following timeline is a priceless memory.

Don't forget a time stamp, like: Do Not Open Until High School Graduation!

Add a photo or let them create an artistic masterpiece of the day to make it their own.

You may help with the writing. But child directed is best. Use the questions below and capture exactly what THEY say. You will love looking back someday if they want to be a robot (and you think they have other skills!). Thought starters, below:

  1. What I am like now:
  2. I think my friends would describe me like this:
  3. What I will do when I am (5 years old, 10, in high school...)
  4. When I am an adult, this will be the best part:
  5. How old I will be when I have a family:
  6. How many kids I will have:
  7. A picture of my family:
  8. My job will be:
  9. My house will look like this:
  10. My future car will look like this:
  11. What I will love to do when I am 30 years old:
  12. To me, love means:


Feel free to make it your own. Add any additional ideas to our comments, below. Have fun and make some memories!


Sarah is a birth mom, adoptive mom, wife, working mom and optimist. She is the founder of Hummingbird Infant. Sign up for our free confidence-boosting weekly Baby Buzz email for insights to help you in your parenting journey in all facets of the first years of parenting.