Nancy Wurtzel

Article Summary:

Why not preserve a slice of history by creating a time capsule for your new baby?

How to Make a Baby Time Capsule

Looking for an unusual and memorable gift? Why not preserve a slice of history by creating a time capsule for your new baby?

Your personally designed time capsule preserves history, popular culture, special memories and can help link generations of a family together. It is truly a unique and thoughtful gift that will be cherished in later years.

There are a number of steps to keep in mind when creating a time capsule gift.

Make Your Own History
Traditionally, a time capsule provides a "snapshot" of a specific day in history, so focus mainly on the baby's birth-day or events happening near that date.

What information is important? A summary of current events to depict what was happening in the world makes the time capsule very relevant, and details about popular fads, movies, sporting events and books will also be interesting to read about decades later.

Be sure to include important information about your child's family as well, which helps to make it a really personalized gift.

Time Capsule 101

1. Start Early.
The best part of any time capsule is the thought and preparation that goes into it. Be sure that you don't rush the process, so start during the middle months of your pregnancy. If you leave everything until the last minute, it will look that way!

2. Choose a Container.
Think cool and dry when you search for just the right container. Check online for affordable time capsules and you will find a variety of styles. Some will even engrave the child's name on your selected capsule. However, to make it very simple, you can make your own capsule by choosing a sturdy metal container that can be properly sealed.

3. Select an Unsealing Date.
Perhaps you want to set a significant date, such as your child's 21st birthday, high school graduation or marriage. It is exciting for everyone to look forward to the time capsule unsealing, so set a date or event and stick to it!

4. Put it in Writing.
This is especially important if the time capsule will be opened far in the future. Make a capsule document that details everything about it, including the contents, unsealing date, purpose of the capsule and who should be present when it is unsealed. Then keep this document in a safe place.

5. Storing the Time Capsule.
Although you may be tempted, it is not advisable to bury your capsule. You are likely to move or forget exactly where it is buried, and the contents could be damaged by the elements. It's a better idea to give the capsule a special place in your home -- perhaps the fireplace mantle or on the family piano. Let the capsule become a conversation piece as you show it to friends and family and talk about its significance.

Capsule Contents
The key to a meaningful time capsule is to make it personal, relevant and interesting. Following are some ideas on items to include and more importantly a few to leave out.

First, it is strongly recommended not to include food, drinks or liquids -- basically, anything that could ruin the contents or create a bad odor.

Instead, consider coins, money, stamps, a small keepsake album, baby's first photos, a video, an audiotape that you recorded for your baby, your family tree and finally a variety of newspapers and magazines.

Write a letter or card to your child explaining the time capsule's purpose -- be sure to use acid-free paper that won't deteriorate as quickly. Cards and photos are an excellent choice, but consider creating them with acid-free paper as well.

You can choose contents that are lighthearted and funny or more serious and reflective. Just remember that you set the tone. Your baby's time capsule is your creation, so have a great time making this personalized and unique gift.

Nancy Wurtzel is the founder and owner of All About Baby, an online store located at www.allbaby.com. All About Baby offers more than 300 personalized and memorable baby gifts for young children. The site also features interesting and helpful child-related content. Ms. Wurtzel has over 25 years of marketing and communications experience. She consults with small businesses seeking to enter the marketplace or grow their existing e-commerce business.

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