How to make a back to school time capsule

If you are anything like me, come the first day of school you’ll march your kids to a favorite photo spot and go to great lengths to draw out a smile. I have a whole box full of obligatory first day of school photos–my kids portrayed through the years wearing cheesy grins and pristine backpacks. While the photos are certainly cute and definitely scrapbook-worthy, they fail to tell the whole story.  Within the span of any given grade in school, my kids grow in so many ways.  In an effort to more thoroughly capture all of those changes, I went beyond the first day photo and created a back to school time capsule.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ribbon
  • Assorted colors of card stock
  • Container (I used a small metal tin but a shoebox or mason jar would suffice)
  • Questionnaire

Step 1:
Print out the questionnaire (or create one of your own) and have your child fill it out.  I helped Jayce with spelling, but I encouraged him to write his own answers so that we’ll have a visual of his handwriting improvements throughout the year.

Step 2:
Trace your child’s hand prints on a piece of card stock.  Cut it out.

Step 3:
Measure your child’s height.  Cut a ribbon to the exact length.

Step 4:
Place all of the time capsule components into your container and store it until the end of the school year—no peeking!  On the last day of school, open your time capsule and help your child to record his or her updated answers on the questionnaire.  It’s always fun to see how much the answers have changed over the course of a single school year.  You can also use the hand cutout and ribbon to see how much your child has grown throughout the year.

Easy peasy, right?


  1. This is so cute! We may have to try to do this before school starts in a couple weeks.

  2. Very cute idea! I may do this with the girls.

    And now I am off to pour another cup of coffee. It took me a good 30 seconds to figure out why your container had an M on it – not a good sign for the day to come!

  3. Super fun idea!!! I always take first and last day pictures of them against our front door to see how much they have changed in their appearance/height, but never thought of doing something like this! So clever, thanks!

  4. Love this idea. My boy is starting Kindergarten in Sept and I will do this the a couple days before the store date. I couldn’t see the question could you please email them to me it would be so wonderful.

    Thank you,

    1. There is a link within the body of the post, Christine. Just click on the “Questionnaire” and you can print the form easy peasy. Have fun!

  5. Thank you so much for creative such interesting and creative ideas. I’m sure that school time capsule it’s amazing, because for each person it will be nice to remember a things from childhood

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