Originally published September 12, 2018 and updated August 17, 2023.
Making college care packages are as much fun as receiving them. When each of my three children headed off to college, I sent them frequent college care packages to show them in a concrete way that we missed them and were thinking of them (and to distract me a bit, from how much I missed them!). Since my two oldest are girls, I had lots of practice making college care packages for girls and women. Now that all my friends’ sons are heading off to college, I’ve been coming up with college care package ideas for guys, boys and men.
Care package ideas for guys are a bit different than putting together care packages for women. But the basic premise is the same – fun items that will help relieve stress and remind them in a concrete way that you are thinking of them. The rest of it just takes plain fun and creativity to make these masculine care packages.
College Care Package Ideas for Guys
The basic categories for a care package for guys (or anyone, really):
Homemade Baked Goods – If you bake at all, whip up a batch of cookies or brownies. Your student won’t have access to homemade treats while away at college. He’s depending on you to provide them. My How to Package Brownies for Shipping tips are a must read before you start packing. Some of my favorite cookie and brownie recipes that are perfect for shipping are:
- Oreo Surprise Cookies
- Candy Bar Cookies
- Rolo Pretzel Surprise Cookies
- Girl Scout Thin Mint Surprise Cookies
- Clean Eating Granola Bars
- Best Oatmeal Fudge Bars Ever
- Rice Krispie Treats that Look Like Spellbooks (They’re easy to make. Really!)
If you’re not a baker, these are truly delicious cookies that are a great option (and that I eat (almost) every day!).
Late Night Munchy Snacks – When your student is up late studying, sometimes he’ll just want a salty snack to munch on. The kind you can keep tossing in your mouth and munch on while wading through piles of work. Some great choices are:
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Trail Mix
Candy, Candy and Candy – We’re sending some better-for-you snack choices, but sending candy is a fun treat. Always. If you send individually wrapped candy, your student can share with roommates and friends.
Think about the temperature outside for shipment. If it’s hot, don’t send candy that will melt.
Send candy in resealable bags or containers. Your student doesn’t want to attract pests with an open bag of candy.
Send candy that will be easy to share with roommates and friends.
Protein Snacks – Snacks that are high in protein are one of our better-for-you snack options. Some favorite choices are:
- Beef Jerky
- Nuts – Be sure to check nut and peanut allergies before sending any nut products.
- Peanut Butter
Outdoor Toys – Your student will be spending plenty of time indoors studying. Send some fun toys that will encourage him to get outside and burn off steam. You can find inexpensive toys at the dollar store or discount store.
Indoor Toys – Once the weather turns colder, your student will need to take a break from studying and goof off a bit. Look for silly toys that can be used indoors. Again, the dollar store or discount store is a great source. Also, look at party favors for inexpensive toys.
Study Supplies – Include brightly colored office supplies like highlighters, pens, sticky notes and paper clamps.
- Page Flag Sticky Notes
- Novelty Sticky Notes
- Novelty Highlighters (these look like medical syringes)
- Novelty Paperclips (these are emoji paperclips)
Electronic Cleaning Supplies – Include wipes that can be used to clean your students many electronics.
Personal Note – Add an encouraging card or letter sharing how much your student is missed and how proud you are of him.
More Care Package Ideas
Creative Care Package Notes – Make the next care package you send even more special with a creative themed care package note. With 48 different notes, there’s something for every situation and every person on your care package list.
Creative College Care Package Ideas – When you’re looking for the perfect care packages for college students, these more than 47 college care package ideas to make or to purchase will help you find the perfect gift idea for your special student.
It’s also fun to send themed college care package ideas. Some popular themed care packages I’ve sent are:
- School Colors
- Heartwarming Care Packages
- Useful Care Packages
- Laundry Essentials
- Tide pods laundry detergent
- Dryer sheets or fabric softener
- Personal Care Items
- Laundry Essentials
Frequently Asked Questions about Care Packages for Men
What do you get a guy for a care package?
If you don’t want to make the care package yourself, you can purchase a care package. These are my favorite choices for guys:
- SnackSack – Includes 11-13 surprise snacks, always centered around seasonal themes and flavors
- Escape Crate – This is a great care package that includes a game that can be played with friends or roommates.
- Sumo Beef Jerky – Each box includes a handpicked curation of craft jerky brands.
- Basic Man Gift Box – Contains a selection of high-quality t-shirt, performance boxer-briefs and pair of socks.
- The Man Box – Contains men’s essentials, lifestyle, gadgets and survival items! Voted best subscription box of 2021.
- Checkout my collection of 16 of the best candy subscription care packages.
What can I send my son in college?
Any gift that shows him you’re thinking of him is the perfect gift. Some popular ideas are gift cards, homemade baked treats, holiday-themed gifts, favorite candy and games to play with roommates. Checkout the list of ideas above for inspiration.
What can I send to my grandson in college?
Sending a gift to show him you’re thinking of him is the best idea. Include a note telling him how proud you are of him and how much you miss him. Include special homemade treats or favorite candy and treats that you know he likes. Gift cards to favorite restaurants are also appreciated. Checkout the collection of themed care package ideas at the end of this article.
You can find all our best care package ideas in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.