Time Capsule 2K12

I approach September and the beginning of the school year with enthusiasm.  I particularly like the laying in of supplies—newly sharpened pencils with perfectly square pink erasers, unopened notebooks, neatly shrink wrapped blocks of index cards.  It all has a “fresh start” feel to me.

January 1st on the other hand is quite different.  Though it’s certainly a new year, filled with the promise of what may come, for me it is about reflecting on the past year—both trials and accomplishments—and creating a wish list for the year to come.

For a child, the idea of contemplating an entire year, whether past or future, is almost unfathomable.  So I’ve created a Time Capsule 2K12 to assist.


Egg carton

Plain paper


Glue or double-sided tape

Crayons or markers

To Assemble:

Fold an 8 ½ x 11 in. sheet of paper in half vertically then trace the top of the egg carton on one half.  Cut out this oblong shape with the paper still folded so you have two identical shapes.  The child can personalize the top one with their name and “Time Capsule 2012”.  Adhere to the top of the carton.

On the inside lid of the carton you can adhere the other piece.  On mine, I drew circles to correspond to the egg indentations and wrote in the name of the month for easy reference.

To Use:

Variation #1 (Goal monitoring):  On a monthly basis come up with an achieved goal, no matter how small.

Ex.  “I caught Mrs. Lewis using bumpy speech.”

“I can say /SH/ at the beginning of words”

“I followed 3 step directions at 90%”

Write it on a paper strip, similar to a cookie fortune, roll or fold it to fit in the appropriate month’s indentation.

Variation #2 (Goal Setting):  Come up with several goals, two to five will probably work best.  Write each one on a strip of paper similar to a cookie fortune and put them all in “January”.  Once a month, pull down your time capsule and re-read your goals.  Any goal you are still working on move to the next month’s indentation.  Any goal you’ve accomplished gets “left behind” in the month in which they were completed.  Add new goals on new strips as needed.

Variation #3 (Record the year):  This would be an appropriate activity in a preschool setting or as a home activity.  Once a month, jot down a milestone or salient feature of that month.

Ex.  “It snowed 10 inches!”

“Had 5 friends to my birthday party!”

“Spent a week at the beach.”

You might even consider adding a small token—i.e. a pressed souvenir coin—as a tactile reminder.  Your carton then becomes a journal of sorts for the year.

Added possibilities:

  1.  Color code your paper slips/month key.  You can discuss which color best represents each month to you (i.e. February/Valentine’s Day/pink).  This will be particularly helpful if you need to re-sort at some point.
  2. If you have plastic eggs on hand you might consider using them in the carton for more secure storage (and some fine motor practice).
  3. In a school system?  You have six months left in the year.  Either cut a standard carton in half or try to acquire a couple of mini (6 count) cartons.

Do you think this idea is “Grade A”?  Please tweet, pin or take time to comment!






The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.