Lockdown Diaries, Time Capsule Templates, and Journal Prompts to Help Kids Remember History in the Making

lockdown diary header

Yep, We’re Living Through a Historic Time

Every day I wake up and have to remind myself that we’re in a new reality right now. That nope, I can’t go to the movies or out to dinner, and nope, I won’t be going on that trip we had planned. People are heroically serving in hospitals and essential workers are braving their public-facing roles on the daily. Every day at 3 pm, the State of Michigan releases the latest COVID-19 numbers – and it’s a time every day that I find myself checking for that news.

Our kids are going to have one heck of a common event to look back on when this is all over.

I was in my elementary school library watching a TV on a tall cart in January 1986 when the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded. It was shocking, but I was young enough to not fully comprehend what had happened. I know the adults around me were sure shook up.

I was teaching high school chemistry when the planes flew into the twin towers. I can tell you, in detail, what we were doing that day and I can still remember the state of shock we all walked around with that day and for the days that followed.

Depending on the age of your kids, they’re going to have different recollections of COVID-19.

You can help them process everything that is happening by talking, writing, or drawing about it – and in doing so, create something that will last and help jog their memories down the road.

Kid & Family Options for Chronicling Life During Coronavirus – 2020

Not everyone processes in the same way. That’s okay. The most important thing is that we talk with and support our kids during this time. Even if it’s not pretty, giving feelings an outlet, whether it be through words, art, or song, is therapeutic.

Here are a few options for those who prefer to document on paper – and perhaps with objects:

Time Capsules

 – Print off and fill out this 5-page Quarantine Time Capsule 2020. In addition to the workbook pages, they suggest items to put into your time capsule. It’s a great option if you want to capture a snippet of life right now.

– If you have more time or are working with longer attention spans, this 11-page COVID-19 Time Capsule will walk you through a similar process.

click the image below to get a download version

COVID 19 time capsule

Lockdown Diary

The Lockdown Diary template illustrates how this experience truly touches all corners of the world.

Here, we have a 28-page fill-in-the blank journal created by artist Stephen McCarthy from New Zealand. His hope was that families around the world would do one page a day for 4 weeks – and that it would be a tool to help parents see how their kids were viewing things.

lock down diary worksheets

lockdown diary 1

Writing Prompts 

Use these writing prompts from the New York Times as dinnertime conversation starters or for journal jumpstarts – either way, they should get the words flowing.

Covering topics from home cooking, learning spaces, and how the pandemic is shaping family dynamics, there are a lot of good topics here.new york times journal prompts

Share Your Stories with the GR Public Library

Another way to get your memories down on paper and out into the world is to share them with the Grand Rapids Public Library. They are working to create a shared memory of the COVID-19 pandemic – they “would like to capture the personal stories about what is happening in our community.”

Instructions are here.

How Will You Document this Period in History?

We’d love to hear how you’re capturing a snapshot of our world, especially with your family.

Leave us a comment if you have ideas to add. Thanks!

COVID-19 Resources – Table of Contents

Where to Buy Masks, Locally
Where to Buy Local Beef, Produce, Milk
Supporting Your Child
Bringing Groceries Into Your Home
Grocery Shopping Hours
GR Coronavirus Resources Page
Pregnancy During COVID Q&A
How Far Should You Drive?
Remote Learning Tips
COVID-19 Time Capsule
Kid Birthdays During the Shutdown
250+ Boredom Busters
At-Home Date Night Ideas
Michigan Armchair Travel Guide
Neighborhood Ideas

1 thought on “Lockdown Diaries, Time Capsule Templates, and Journal Prompts to Help Kids Remember History in the Making”

  1. Stephanie Faust

    Thank you for all of these great resources.

    Is there a way to make the journal digital so the kids can type into the document?

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