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:
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.
Here is the explanation note that I sent to parents:
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.
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:
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.
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.
I included a copy of the poem All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten:
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.
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.
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.