Thanks to Cookies by Design for the sharing the Delux Survival Kit and delicious cookies with me. As always, my opinions are always 100% my own.
I’ve been asked many times what to put in a college care package. Among my friends and family I’m kinda known for sending college care packages. While any care package is always greatly appreciated, there are definitely items you should include to make your care package even more enjoyable and memorable. And if you’re going to send a college care package, you might as well go big and memorable!
I vividly remember the care packages I received in college and how much they meant to me. Sending a college care package is a concrete way to show your favorite college student that you care and are thinking of them. No matter how grown up they think they are in college, getting a care package with favorite and unexpected goodies is like sending a big hug of encouragement. And who doesn’t need and love that? I have so much fun making college care packages that I think I might be addicted!
These tips work well for know what to put in a care package for anyone, not just college students.
What to Put in a College Care Package
- Fun Items
- Nostalgic Items
- Personal Care Items
- Themed Items
- A Personal Note
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.
Cookies are the foundation of a successful college care package. You can bake a batch of your student’s favorite homemade cookies or baked treats. If you do that, be sure to be careful in how you package them for shipping.
Some of my favorite homemade cookies to bake and send are:
- Oreo Surprise Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Rolo Pretzel Surprise Cookies
- Girl Scout Thin Mints Surprise Cookies
- Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies
If you’re not a baker, these are truly delicious cookies that are a great option (and that I eat (almost) every day!).
Cookies by Design also offers fun and unique gourmet gifts, cookie bouquets, baskets and cookie kits that will be a big hit with your college student. Not only do they offer festive cookie options, they take care of the packaging and the shipping. Woo hoo!
The Delux Survival Kit allows you to personalize it with your own message on a cookie and choice of add on candy or nuts. It’s a perfect choice for a college survival care package.
Your student is busy and doesn’t always have time to get to the dinning facility. This is where your college care package ideas come to the rescue. He or she will also appreciate snacks that can be enjoyed during late-night study sessions.
- Beef Jerky
- Trail Mix
- Peanut Butter Crackers
- Protein or Granola Bars
- Dried Fruit
- Microwaveable Meals
- Treats Unique to Your Student’s Home or Tradition
- Hot Cocoa Mix Packets
- Cappuccino Packets
- Tea Bags
- Powdered Drink Packets
Freshman Care Package Ideas
These same ideas work perfectly for a freshman care package. Do your best to send a care package by the second full month of the student’s freshman year. Try to send a freshman care package every month or other month to encourage your favorite student every month of that first year.
College is stressful even while it’s exciting and fun. What to put in a college care package? Send silly items that will make your college student laugh, play and release stress.
- Coloring Book Specifically for College Students & Crayons
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Beach Ball
- Bouncy Balls
- Jump Rope
- Bottle of Bubbles
- Paddle Ball Game
- Skip Ball Toy
- Toy Balsa Wood Airplanes
Bring a smile to your student’s face with reminders of nostalgic childhood favorites. Think of items unique to your student’s childhood or personality to include in your college care package ideas and planing.
- Favorite Childhood Snacks
- Items with Favorite Childhood Character
- Item from Favorite Childhood Restaurant
- Notes from All Family Members
- Notes from School Friends & Teachers
- Photos of Favorite Childhood Memories
- Photo of Pet
Personal Care Items
Running errands and shopping are not high on most college student’s list of things to do. Sending them personal care items to pamper and to prevent those panicked late-night trips to the store is always a big help.
- Lip Balm
- Cough Drops
- Individually Packaged Tissues
- Nail Polish
- Hand Lotion
Enough for Roommates & Friends
Make it easy for your student to share with roommates and friends. Send plenty of gift items so that your student can be generous with friends. This is a particularly appropriate for freshman care package ideas. Be sure to send individually wrapped treats that can be shared with roommates and friends. Not only will it make your student feel good to be able to share, but a well-placed bribe to roommates always helps.
All college care packages are a wonderful surprise, but you can take it to the next level by sending a themed care package. It’s as fun for you to create as it is for your student to receive.
- Care Package for Women
- Care Package for Guys
- College Finals Care Package
- Cold Season Themed
- Spring Themed
- Red College Care Package
- Green College Care Package
- Maroon and Gold Care Package
- Favorite Book
- Sports Theme
- Favorite Sports Team
- Favorite Show or Movie
If you’re mailing the college care package yourself, I recommend using a Priority Mail box from the Post Office. For one flat rate, you can cram as many gifts and treats into the care package as you can without having to make the difficult decision of what to put in a college care package and what to leave out.
Check out all my creative college care package ideas to determine what you want to put in a college care package (or two or three) for your favorite college student. I hope you become as addicted to creating care packages as I am.
If you have a student heading to college or one already in college, you want to check out all my Top College Tips for Success. As a parent educator and mom that has sent two of my babies 10+ hours away to college, these are tips that really work.
See all of my 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.