Time Capsules

One of my favorite end of the year activities was making a Kindergarten Time Capsule, to be opened when the children graduate from high school.  I have been making Time Capsules for many years, and I often get emails, phone calls or notes from my graduating Kindergartners!

Here are some of the things I included in each child’s time capsule:

Here is a printable copy:

Contents

Parent Letter  –  The letter from the parent is a very important part of the time capsule so I always allowed plenty of time (and many reminders) for parents to write this letter.  I sent home a piece of “stationery” along with the note explaining the time capsules.

Parent letter

Here is the explanation note that I sent to parents:

Parent directions

Celebration  –  In a few weeks I will be sharing more about things I did to celebrate the end of the year, but one thing was an individualized certificate.  Sometimes I used one that talked about a reason I was proud of each child, other times I used one that said we were celebrating something about that child.  I left blanks to fill in the personal information about each child.

And printables:

proud

celebrating

Class picture –  I photocopied the composite photo of the entire class that came with school photos, and included a copy in each child’s time capsule.

Cap and gown picture  –  Long ago one of my Kindergartners wore a child sized cap and gown for Halloween, and afterward her parent donated that cap and gown to me.  I never called our end of the year celebration ‘graduation’ but it was fun to put that cap and gown on each child and take their photograph (as long as head lice wasn’t a problem!)

I included this photo in each child’s time capsule too!

Things about me  –  I asked each child to complete a fill in the blank form and included that sample of their writing in the time capsule too:

About me

Another end of the year activity I did was a little similar, I asked each child a series of questions, then wrote up a little paragraph about him or her.  Here is a copy of the form I made to record their oral answers, and also a few of the ‘interviews’ as I printed them.

Interview questions

Interviews

Penny Poem –  I collected pennies that were dated the year that the child was finishing Kindergarten, and I taped the pennies as well as a small photo next to this poem, and included it in the time capsule too!

As you can see, I printed 2 on a page.

Penny poem

I included a copy of the poem All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten:

All I Need to Know

Every year on the first day of school I had the parents draw a picture of their child, and we used it as a copy change of Mary Wore a Red Dress, I included these drawings in the time capsules too!

Self Portrait –  Then I asked each child to draw him or herself to include in the time capsule.

Self portrait

I often included other papers that I thought would be meaningful and fun – during our ME week I asked parents to tell me a few special things about their child, and I included those papers too!

When I collected all the papers I usually showed them to each child because I didn’t want them to wonder about what was wrapped up in their Time Capsule.  I rolled all the papers up and put them into a paper towel tube.  Then the children helped me wrap their time capsule in their favorite color of tissue paper, tying the ends.  The kids wrote their name on the label and I taped that on the outside to remind them not to open it until high school graduation.

time capsule label

This really is a fun, special thing to do.  Every year parents contact me and tell me how much fun it was for their family to look back all those years and remember their time in Kindergarten.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon
    May 01, 2011 @ 11:47:39

    I love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply

  2. Kelly
    May 05, 2011 @ 10:25:46

    I love your time capsule printables………I have done them before, but I want to add some of your stuff too! Is there any way you would help me with making a cover sheet to use? I teach first grade. Thank you!

    Reply

  3. Lottie
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 09:07:22

    Thankyou for sharing this website it has helped me with my time capsule

    Reply

    • dbsenk
      Mar 18, 2012 @ 09:20:28

      It is so much fun hearing from kids or parents when they graduate from high school and open their time capsules. I’m glad you found it helpful.

      Reply

  4. Janis
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 20:54:55

    Thank you for sharing your time capsule project. My daughter, who is a senior in high school, just recently opened the one she received from her kindergarten teacher. It was a lot of fun looking at the treasures hidden inside with her. This year, my grade partner and I are working on one for our students and I was wondering if you had a blank template available for the label? Thanks again for sharing, you have some wonderful ideas!

    Reply

    • dbsenk
      Apr 24, 2012 @ 21:17:32

      I love hearing from students when they open their time capsules! I had not saved my original label, and remade it when I wrote this post. I work on a MAC so I don’t know how to share documents that you can change. I would suggest printing the label I posted and just cut out the date. Then I always made a template to type in the correct date every year and the children wrote their own name. I hope your kids are excited to take them home.

      Reply

  5. Susan Scjulz
    May 28, 2015 @ 18:28:52

    As I was searching for ideas to write my twin kindergarten boys parent letter, I came upon this page. I can’t read this page as it will spoil my fun in another 5 years when my oldest will open his time capsule from the Kindergarten Nana. I did want to comment on how special this lady is! When my oldest was entering Middle School, she sent him a hand written postcard to wish him the best in his new school. He put that inside of his “pizza box” that holds special memories from her class. Every Thanksgiving we read his directions on how to cook a turkey and still laugh ourselves silly at his responses. I can only hope that my youngest two will have the same special memories in their time capsules so that this proud mother can have the same trip down memory lane. Thank You Kindergarten Nana for all that you did and continue to do!

    Reply

    • dbsenk
      May 29, 2015 @ 07:40:57

      Thank you for the very sweet words Susan. I have been so blessed to have a job that I loved, and I consider my students to always be my kids. It is such a privilege to be remembered kindly by wonderful people like you and Ethan!

      Reply

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