When you are three and four years old, as my two children are, four years is pretty much an unimaginable amount of time. While trying to help them understand the concept of Leap Year, I decided to do a fun project with them. This was pretty much a spur-of-the-moment thing, so without any preparation, we spent the first part of our morning yesterday putting together a Leap Year time capsule. We did some math (just using fingers) to figure out how old they will be four years from now when we open the time capsule.
I let them start decorating the box as I explained more about what it was for and how we would use it. (I just grabbed an Amazon box that hadn’t been taken to the recycling center yet.)
We tried to think of things to put in the capsule that express who they are and what their interests are right now. Mr. BANG immediately brought out his Cranky toy (the crane from Thomas and Friends), saying that that’s his favorite toy. Once I reinforced that the things in the box would be put away for four years, he quickly put that back on the shelf. However, Drama Queen brought out a single piece of wooden train track – perfect! They have a huge bin of track pieces, so they’ll never miss that one.
We thought of some more things to put in that represent activities they enjoy: stickers, a crayon, WikkiStix in the shape of a balloon (their favorite thing to make with WikkiStix, a little puzzle, etc.
Drama Queen helped me choose some recent photos of the two of them doing fun things, such as making Daddy’s birthday cake, meeting Daisy Duck in DisneyWorld, and Drama Queen dressed in her own self-made Peter Pan costume. I just printed those off on my printer since I hadn’t planned ahead and ordered prints of them.
Mr. BANG got to work on making some artwork for the box. He loves dot painting, so he chose a picture and started painting. Drama Queen later made one of her own.
One activity Drama Queen loves repeating during school is to make booklets of her number writing. She added one of those to the box as well.
As they worked on those things, I wrote out a list of things that would be interesting for them to reflect back on when they’re older. I included items such as Favorite Thing to Do Outside, Favorite Thing to Do in School, and, of course, What I Want to Be When I Grow Up. For the most part, I wrote down exactly what they answered, but there were a couple times that they said something random, so I put my observation of the real answer. For example, when I asked Drama Queen about her favorite thing to play, she answered “truck driver.” What? She had driven a ride-on dump truck in my bathroom that morning…for about five minutes. What she spends all day doing, though, is acting out Peter Pan, her latest obsession. So I wrote down Peter Pan. Also, I started out asking Drama Queen each question first, but quickly realized that Mr. BANG would parrot her answers. (As he did with “truck driver.”) For the rest of the questions, I asked him first.
As we moved into our normal school lessons, I decided to take pictures of the children as they did their work. I compiled those photos onto a couple pages and included them in the time capsule, along with a written out schedule of the day.
Once everything was in the box, they helped me tape on a note reminding us of when the box can be opened, then we stashed it away in Mr. BANG’s closet. That may not be the best place for it as he gets older, but for right now his large, walk-in closet is used for family storage so it’s a perfect spot.
I realize that I’m posting this after Feb. 29, the special day of Leap Year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still do this project with your family. The Leap YEAR is no where near over yet!