New Years Memory Jar - A Family Tradition

On New Years Eve begin a new family tradition and make a New Years memory jar or time capsule together.  It is such a lovely way of focusing on your families dreams and wishes for the year ahead. You simply begin by thinking about a few wishes for the year ahead and then as the year progresses add any special thoughts, memories, photos or even tiny souvenirs to the jar before opening it the following New Years Eve. 

How to make a New Years memory jar or time capsule and create a new family tradition.

The start of a new year is the perfect time to look back on the fun (and sometimes not so fun) times you have had in the previous year and think ahead to the future. A New Years memory jar is a really lovely way of treasuring all those precious memories.

See all our New Year' Eve activities for kids.

We have some printable interview questions for kids which would be lovely to keep alongside a New Years memory jar. 

New Years Eve Memory Jar - A Family Tradition

New years family tradition. How to make a memory jar.

To make a memory jar you will need:

You will simply need a good sized jar for this family tradition. You can either get one for each family member or share one as a family. You could recycle an old jam jar or buy a jar especially for this tradition. 

How to make a New Years Eve Memory Jar or Time Capsule

Begin by writing the year on your memory jar. You could make a fancy label, use a gift tag or let one of the children design a label with the year on. We simply wrote the year onto the lid of our jar using a sharpie marker pen. 

New years eve activities for kids. New years memory jar. A family tradition and keepsake

The memory jar can begin on New Years Eve with each member of the family writing a wish (or 2) for the coming year. Younger children will obviously need some help with this. We wrote our wishes, hopes and dreams for the year ahead on the back of these stars which we then added as the first items for our memory jar. 

New Years memory jar. Kids new years craft

Keep the jar in a place which is easy for all the family to access and during the year add small items and little notes that remind you of special memories or events that take place.  It would be fun to add tiny photographs or keepsakes from special days out or family events. Jotting down any funny things the children say or do to look back on would be extra special too! 

Or keep it really simple and have a pad of post its next to the memory jar and just add written notes when you feel something special, funny, or even the ordinary has happened! 

Really anything could be included in your memory jar, but here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • A photo or souvenir from a special family day out
  • Shells from a beach trip
  • Tiny photographs of the family together
  • Funny things the kids have said on post its
  • A letter to the kids
  • A quick note about a funny event on a scrap of paper
  • Special recipes that have memories attached to them
  • Special stickers the kids bring home from school
  • Tickets from a special day out
  • Something that had really made you smile
  • A good dead someone has done
  • Something silly

Include anything that makes you happy, makes you laugh, or even makes you sad! There is no right or wrong things to add to your memory jar, just add whatever memories you want to treasure throught the year. Sometimes it can be the most simple of things that matter the most to us! 

Next New Years Eve open up the memory jar and take a look at all the special memories created and funny things people have said or done, and see if you have achieved the wishes and dreams you set out to.  

Make a New Years memory jar or  time capsule and start a new family tradition. New years activities for kids
Do you have any New Years Eve traditions you do together as a family? Making a memory jar is such a fun and easy family tradition for the new year. 

As an alternative you could make a time capsules for kids using a small cardboard tube (for example an empty Pringles tube) and fill it with small items and printables. This would be great to do anytime of the year. 

Another fun New Years Eve activity for kids to do and look back on year after year is our interview questions for kids. Whatever family traditions you do, or plan to start this year we wish you all the best for the year ahead! 


  1. This is a lovely idea. I kept a diary last year recording family news and events and I m planning to put this together with photos and drawings from kids etc to make a family scrapbook to look back on.

    1. A scrapbook sounds lovely too Nicole. Like you I keep all the childrens drawings, can't throw anything away! I just put them in a box at the moment but a scrap books a good idea.

      I haven't done a memory jar before but I'm looking forward to starting a new year and 'hopefully' having lots of happy memories to fill it with.


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