time capsule 1st birthday

The best first birthday time capsule ideas

The first birthday is a very special day for any baby or even more for their parents.

I remember we went all out for my daughter’s 1st birthday party to make sure it’s fun and memorable for everyone.

And it was a blast.

I just wish I would’ve heard of the 1st birthday time capsule idea sooner so we could’ve created one for her too but maybe we can still do it for her next birthday even though it won’t really be the same.

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What is a first birthday time capsule?

A first birthday time capsule is basically a collection of memories, collectibles, and other fun stuff around your baby’s first birthday.

All these keepsakes can be stored in a Box.

You can even get beautiful personalized wooden boxes from Etsy.

How to create a first birthday time capsule?

Creating the first birthday time capsule is super simple.

All you really need is all the items you want to include in the time capsule and the box you want to put them in.

That’s it.

When do you give the time capsule to your child?

You wait until your kid turns 18 or 21 and give the first birthday time capsule to them as a cute and sentimental keepsake.

Of course, you can let them open the time capsule sooner or wait even longer but traditional it stays closed until at least the 18th birthday.

What do you put in a first birthday time capsule?

There are tons of great ideas of what you can include in a first birthday time capsule and the possibilities are truly endless.

Here are a few good ideas to get you started:

Newspaper from that day

Make sure you keep a copy from the newspaper that was published on the day of their first birthday.

It can be just a small local newspaper or one of the big ones like the new york times or both.

Adding the newspaper is a great way to show your kid what was going on all over the world when they had their very first birthday.

And a great opportunity to teach them about the differences in the political landscape from back then to now.

Birthday invites

Add a birthday invitation you used to invite friends and family to their special party.

If you had a virtual one you can still print it out and add it.

Party decoration from the first birthday party

Did you have a super fun first birthday party with a special theme?

Keep some of the small decorations and add them to the time capsule as well.

We had our daughter’s first birthday in a monkey or jungle theme and I still have some of the decorations from that day.

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Cake topper

If you had a custom made birthday cake with cake toppers you should definitely keep those too to add to the time capsule.

Birthday cards

Collect all the birthday cards that came with the birthday gifts from family and friends and throw them in the mix as well.

They have a lot of sentimental value as well in case one of their grandparents or great grandparents that was attending that day passes away until they open their first birthday time capsule again.

Of course, hopefully, that won’t happen.

Ask guest to contribute for first birthday

You can ask all the birthday guests upfront to bring something small to contribute to the time capsule when they come to the party.

It could be anything your baby loves at that time or a special memory your baby and the family member share at that time.

Letter for your future child

Write a handwritten personal letter to your child in the future.

This letter can really include anything you can think of.

You could write down your hopes and dreams for your child in the future, tell them a funny story that happened in their first year or life, and how much you love them.

First birthday outfit

Make sure to include the outfit your baby was wearing for their big day as well.

We like to get a custom-made shirt for every birthday simply because it’s such a great keepsake.


Get the best photos from the party printed and any other pictures you can think of during their first birthday.

Guest list first birthday

This one can be as simple as a basic list of names from people that were attending their birthday party or you can let every guest take a picture and add a personal note on the back or next to their name on the list.

Handprint or footprint of that day

I don’t think taking the Handprint and footprint of your baby will ever get old as a memory to keep.

Just imagine your grown-up child later seeing how tiny their hand and feet were at 1 year of age.

My parents did something similar when they built their house (I was less than a year old at that time).

They would get my hand and footprint in the custom-made tiles for the fireplace in their living room including my name and the date is was made and I still love seeing those very special keepsakes in their home now.

Postage stamps 

As you probably know stamps are a collectible item that might gain some value over the years.

If your kid is lucky they could be worth quite some money by the time they open up the time capsule.

Grocery store receipt or grocery ad

This is a great way to show them how the prices of different items changed over time.

Especially if you have basics like a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread on there.

Interesting Facts 

Create a fact sheet with information like:

  • The current president
  • Current exchange rates 
  • Current stock prices (if that is something you’re into)
  • How much a gallon of gas costs that day

And anything else you can think of.

Top 10 charts that day

Music is another thing that is always changing and developing in different directions over the years so it’s a cute idea to either print out a list of the top 10 charts from the day of their first birthday or even better to get the top 10 songs on a CD.

One of their favorite toys 

That doesn’t mean you take it away from them – don’t worry you can still sneak it in the box a little later when they aren’t so interested in the toy anymore.

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Family tree

Get creative and create a graphic of your current family tree with them as the newest family member.

It will be so interesting how many new family members will be added to the family by the time your child is grown up.

Empty baby food container of their favorite food

Was your baby crazy about one specific food you gave them as a baby?

Make sure you wash one of their favorite baby food jars really well and include that in the box too.

Floorplan or picture of the current home

Get a floorplan or pictures of the house you are currently living in including the address and add that to the box as well.

It’s a great way to show your child where they spent their first year of life and if you still live there when they are grown you can show them what looks different in your house now.

Popular magazine

To show your kid what celebrities were most talked about at that time.

Trading cards 

Some trading cards are also collectibles and can bring in a good chunk of money later on.

Pokemon cards are a great example.

Menu from the family favorite restaurant

If you have a favorite restaurant you would take your baby to all the time make sure to get a paper menu to add to the box and circle in what item of the menu your baby enjoyed the most.

Google map print out where you can mark places

This is another great idea especially if you are moving at some point.

Print out a map of your neighborhood and start by circling in your house.

Then you can circle in some other spots like the playground you would take your kid to, their best friend’s house, your favorite restaurant, and the store where you would get groceries together.

Coin with their birth year on it

The best way to find a coin that was made in their birth year is probably to keep your eyes open if one comes across your wallet or ask friends and family to keep an eye out for that year.

You might also be able to get one at your local bank.

Drawings from siblings

If your baby is a small sibling you can ask the older brother or sister to create a drawing for their little sibling and add that to the time capsule too.

I hope this post gave you a lot of good ideas on what to add to your baby’s first birthday time capsule and how to create one.

Do you have a genius idea of what else should be included in the time capsule?

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25 genius ideas what to include in a first birthday time capsule

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