Imagine if you could travel through time and arrive 50 years in the future, what might life be like? What things would be different? Solar powered flying buses? Schools in the sky? Hoverboard skateboards? Shoe flavoured ice cream? Kids in parliament running the country?
How would you explain our life now to the people of the future? If you could take five things from your life now in your bag to show them what would you choose?
Sadly we don’t yet have time travelling technology. However a time capsule can be a way to time travel more slowly from one time to the next. Create a treasure trove of objects, pictures, writing, hopes and dreams. This could be opened in the future by you or by someone else, as a reminder of the time we are living in now.
First you will need a container to keep your items in. You might want to bury it outside so think about what materials will cope with rain and weather. So find a watertight container, or something you can seal really well with tape. Choose materials that don’t break down. A cardboard box wouldn’t work too well, but a plastic or metal container, or a sturdy wood one (depending on how long you want to leave it buried for) could work well.
What will you put in your capsule? You might want to think about how long you are going to leave it buried before it is opened. One year, five years, ten years or even longer! The time will make a difference to how much the world may have changed. Therefore what would feel mad, strange or different from our time now. Also, whether you plan to open it yourself — so you might want more personal things about your life. Or whether you intend it to be opened by strangers — in which case you may choose to put in more general items about your community, or the country or world.
- A letter to the person opening the capsule – this could be your future self, or if you are burying it for longer, someone who might discover it in the future.
- A newspaper – or a news article printed from the internet – from the day you bury the capsule, or from a key date recently (e.g. the day the country locked down due to Covid-19)
- Photos of you and your friends / family – maybe choose photos of things that are specific to the time now. Maybe you went to a black lives matter protest, or made a rainbow celebrating the NHS to put in your window, or had to do school from home.
- Poems / diary entries / thoughts from today or recently, expressing what it is like to live now. Showing what you are thinking about and what you care about.
- Something you have made – you could make it specially for the time capsule, or choose something you have made in the past few weeks.
- A hope for the future (then when you open it you can see if this has happened or not)
- Some wrappers of your favourite food / sweets so you could see how they have changed (the actual food probably wouldn’t survive a few years in a time capsule!)
- A playlist of music that you love and listen to a lot, for the person who opens it to look up and listen to.
- A book that you love, or a list of books you have enjoyed if you don’t want to put a whole book in. You could also list films you love, games you like to play etc.
Once you have collected your items put them into your container and seal it. You can bury your time capsule in your garden or a private outdoor space. Or perhaps hide it somewhere in your home.
You might want to make a ceremony for the burial – a celebration of our time at the moment. Perhaps you could play a song you particularly like, then read a bit from one of the things in the capsule. Or get everyone there to say one thing about today that they love and one hope for the future.
Opening your Time Capsule
Set a date for when you are going to open your capsule. This could be in one year, 5 years or 10 years. Are you are leaving it for others in the future? Think about how they might find it? If it is in your garden or house you could write a letter to leave for whoever lives there next. If you are going to open it yourself, think about how you can mark the date and remember to dig it up!
Take it further
Now you have thought about sending your messages to the future, you could think about your journey there with A Good Yarn.