Back to School Time Capsule
Updated: Jun 25
School’s back in Session! Use this Back to School Time Capsule activity to save your child’s first day of school memories! This activity is perfect to complete with your school-age child whether they are returning to the classroom or doing virtual learning online! Children will love doing this activity as it will get them excited and thinking about the upcoming school year! Creating a Back to School Time Capsule can also encourage self-reflection in older school-aged children as they may be making the transition to middle school from elementary school! If they are moving onto middle school, you can ask questions like “What was your favourite memory from elementary school?”, or, “What do you think will be different about middle school from elementary school?”
This activity is a great opportunity to engage in conversation between you and your child about things they may be nervous about for the upcoming school year and things they can do to resolve or cope with those nervous feelings. On the last day of school, get your child to open up their time capsule and to think back on their first day of school, and see how much has changed since then!
★ Empty clean jar
★ Coloured construction paper
★ Markers or crayons
★ Glue dots or tape
★ Ribbon or stickers (optional)
Step 1: Time Capsule Label
First, grab a piece of coloured construction paper and hold it up to your jar. This will help you figure out how big your label should be! Make a little mark on the piece of paper to remind yourself of where the words need to fit on the piece of paper
.**There is also a print out option to use if you do not want to write it yourself!**
Then, pick your favourite crayon or marker and write out “______’s Back to School TIME CAPSULE - Do Not Open Until Last Day of School”. If you chose to print off the label, make sure you write your name in the blank! You can then decorate your label if you would like to with your favourite stickers, little back to school doodles or other designs!
Next, cut out your label and tape it to your jar! Set your jar aside. Now you are ready to fill your Time Capsule with items!
Step 2: Hand/Foot Print
The first thing you will put in the Time Capsule is your hand or foot print! Pick a coloured piece of construction paper to trace your hand or foot! To trace your hand, place it flat on the paper and spread your fingers out! Then, with a crayon or marker, start a little ways down on the side of your wrist that has your thumb. Trace around your thumb and go up and around between your fingers until you reach the other side of your wrist!
To trace your foot, place your foot flat on your construction paper. You can start tracing wherever is most comfortable, like at the back of your heel! Trace all around your foot and toes until you make it back to your starting point and there is a foot on
your piece of paper!
Next, you can decorate the inside of your hand/foot print with any designs you would like! At the top of the page, write your name and the first day of whatever grade you are going into! For example: “_____’s First day of ___ grade!”. Set this aside.
Step 3: Lunch Box
Next, you are going to draw out what your favourite lunch to bring to school is! On another piece of coloured paper, draw a square or rectangle. Does your lunch box have a handle? If so, draw a half circle at the top of the lunch box in the middle! Underneath the handle in the lunchbox, write “______’s Lunch Box!”.
Then, draw your favourite foods that you would like to bring to lunch with your! Some examples are juice boxes, apples, jam sandwiches, carrots, banana’s - what are your favourites? Do you like your sandwich cut into two?
Step 4: All About Me!
Now, you are going to include some things about YOU! Pick another piece of blank coloured construction paper. Write down the questions and your answers to the following questions:
➔ What are you most excited for on the first day of school?
➔ What do you think you’ll do on school on your first day?
➔ What do you hope to learn in school this year?
➔ Are you nervous about anything?
➔ What would you like to share about yourself with your classmates and teacher?
**There is also an option to print out these questions! All you have to do is write your answer in the spaces!**
Add in some drawings beside your answers! For example, if you are most excited to wear your new back to school outfit on the first day of school - draw some clothes!
Now, fold all your pieces of paper either together or separate from each other! Fold them in a way that they will fit into your jar. You may have to do lots of hamburger folds (folding the short sides of the paper towards each other) or hot dog folds! (folding the long sides of the paper towards each other).
Step 5: Measure Your Height!
The last item that you can add to your Time Capsule is a string or piece of ribbon that is the length of how tall you are! To measure your height, step on the end of the ribbon or string and pull it up your side until it reaches the top of your head! Hold this spot with your fingers and use your fingers to cut it. You will need an adult’s help with this, it will be hard to measure and cut the ribbon/string by yourself! Ball up the string or ribbon and add it to your jar.
Finally, you can add some more decoration to your Time Capsule if you would like! You can add more stickers, or even tie some ribbons around your lid! You could choose your favourite colours, or, pick your school colours!
Pick a special spot in your room or house to keep your Back to School Time Capsule until the last day of school! On the last day of school, pull the items out of your jar and see how much you have grown and changed this year! Did your hand/footprint grow? Did you grow taller? What did you learn in school this year? What helped you when you were nervous on the first day of school?
Have a great first day of school and school year!!