One thing is for sure, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic will go down in the history books. Parents and children alike are currently experiencing the ‘joys’ of home-schooling. What could be a better activity for kids than getting them to create their own little piece of history? A lockdown time capsule is just that.
Not only is making a lockdown time capsule an activity that will keep kids busy and engaged, it’s a great way for them to look back on this historic time in years to come.
A time capsule will help future generations to understand what lockdown was really like. After all, in the future children will be learning all about the pandemic in their History lessons. Social distancing, lockdown, coronavirus, self-isolating – all the terms that are now a part of our day-to-day vocabulary that we’d never heard of just a few months ago. A time capsule is a great way to capture the time for posterity and future reference.
So, here’s how to go about making a lockdown time capsule.
What is a lockdown time capsule?
First, let’s deal with the basics. What is a time capsule and why do people create them? Essentially, a time capsule is a container filled with objects that have been picked because they have a special meaning or significance in the time that the creator of the time capsule was living in. Time capsules have been found from as far back as Victorian times. In more recent times they have often been placed underground near to important buildings of a particular time, such as the Millennium Dome.
There are no hard and fast rules about what to put in a time capsule, or who it should be for. For example, a time capsule could be left for a complete stranger to find. On the other hand, it could be saved for a future family member to discover in years to come.
Here are a few ideas.
How to create a lockdown time capsule
Everyone will create theirs differently. In many ways, that’s the whole point. A time capsule should be unique and reflect what a person thinks is important.
Having said that, there are a few basics to consider. First off, you need to choose your box. If you intend to bury your lockdown capsule (as most people do), the box needs to be a sturdy and waterproof container. One of the best options is wood. Plain wooden boxes are easily available online and can be decorated and personalised simply too. Failing that, you could extend the home learning to incorporate a touch of woodwork! Why not make your own with any spare wood you might have lying around? Plastic may not be great for the environment, generally, but for the purpose of a time capsule, plastic is perfect. Tupperware lasts for up to 1000 years underground. Finally, metal is another good choice.
What to include in your lockdown time capsule
Photographs are perhaps the best way to show future generations what like was like during lockdown. Capture home schooling or the family doing the Joe Wicks Workout. Other ideas would be take photos of deserted streets and shopping areas. Newspapers will fade over time but will last longer if placed in a plastic wallet. There’s no better of chronicling a particular day during lockdown. They will give a precious insight into what exactly what was in the news at the time and what people’s thoughts were. It might be a nice idea to balance things out a bit. Headlines will be generally negative, but there have been lots of good news stories about too, such as the weekly clapping for the NHS and Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts.
Other suggestions include letters and postcards, especially birthday cards sent between friends and family during the lockdown period. Why not include the letter that was sent to every household from Boris Johnson?
Bury your lockdown time capsule
Once you have chosen a suitable container and filled it with interesting objects, you can bury your time capsule. If you bury the capsule in the garden, it should really be placed in a hole that’s at least four feet deep. This should avoid it being unearthed accidentally while gardening over the next couple of years.
Alternatively, if you have a couple of loose floorboards already, you could place the capsule under the floor.
You could also use an attic or loft. The longer you leave a lockdown time capsule, the more amazed people will be by what they discover when they open it. Ten years is a good baseline to use.
Can you wait that long?!