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20 Thoughtful Care Package Ideas for College Students


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If you’re looking for care package ideas for your favorite college student, you’re in the right place! Care packages are a wonderful way to stay connected with your children when they go off to college.

a collage of different care package ideas with title text reading 20 Super Awesome Care Packages for College Students

When my son went off to college… I was nervous for sure. And now my daughter will be heading off to college too!

My biggest fear was that they would feel alone or homesick. I wanted to send a bit of home to brighten their days away.

I came up with some of my own ideas and also found LOTS of ideas from other parents. From finals survival kits to holiday decorating baskets, there are tons of awesome college care package ideas floating around the web!

So to save you hours of browsing, I collected 20 of my very favorite super simple college care package ideas right here for you to pick from!

20 Super Simple Care Package Ideas for College Students

If you’re looking for a list of ideas to include in your own custom care package, check out this list of college care package content ideas!

Hygiene Items

Looking to send your first college care package? Here’s the first one I sent my son!

The idea was to send him toiletries (razors, deodorant, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste) before he ran out since he likely wouldn’t plan for that the first time living away from home.

deodorant, shaving cream, razors and toothpaste in a cardboard box with tissue paper in it

Coffee Gift

I am in LOVE with this college care package in a mug! Just fill up a mug with instant coffee, chocolates, and other fun treats for a quick and easy gift.

various candy, gum, chapstick, pink pen, starbucks gift card in a white mug with text #eat sleep study on a white polka dot paper with a brown background

Just Because

Want to send a gift that’s fun AND helpful? Check out these gifts that college students will actually use!

Include some snacks, a few comfort items, and a thoughtful gift item or two for the perfect surprise.

big az snacks, a watch, blanket, ludens drops, book titled the princess saves herself in this one, a journal and two sour punch candy bags all on a white table

Finals Survival Kit

Send this awesome finals survival kit and make your college student’s week more bearable! Include healthy snacks and some school supplies like pens, pencils, highlighters, and sticky notes to keep them fueled and prepped for test-taking.

pencils, chips, Godiva, chia seeds, electronic cord, kale cups, green tea, highlighters, pumpkin, walnuts in a white plastic tub with a paper on it with text reading Good Luck on Finals! You'll Do Great

Get ready for finals with this fun college care package!

a priority mail cardboard box, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, coloring book, crayons, gum, smarties candies, and two paper chalkboards with text reading Good luck on finals you're a smartie! on a white background

Check out this finals college care package to brighten up the end of a semester!

a pencil, socks, sees candy lollipops, gum protein bars, paddle ball, kleenex and a first aid kit in front of a paper bag with a colorful paper sign reading finals survival kit all on a white background

Holiday Themed Gifts

Because my sons went to school several states away, they didn’t come home for some of the minor holidays like Halloween and Valentine’s Day. These occasions are perfect opportunities for care packages!

For example, give your kiddo a taste of home with this super simple Easter college care package!

red frisbee, brown wicker basket full of colored plastic eggs, a green water bottle, two green and orange take out boxes, a plastic container with treats decorated to look like carrots, all on a white background with title text reading Easter Care Package for College Students

I just can’t get over this adorable Valentine’s day college care package!

valentines skilttles, dove hearts on a white table next to a box filled with pink tissue paper and a dove heart candy box with a note reading love you with all my heart

Help your kid decorate their dorm room for Christmas with this holiday decorating package! In addition to holiday decorations, add some cookies, gift tags, and maybe some gift wrap too.

card envelopes, a snowman tin, blue and red christmas decorations and a couple of wrapped presents in a cardboard box

Seasonal Themed Care Packages

Some of the best college care packages are those that prepare your student for the current or upcoming season.

Your college kid will absolutely love this care package for winter cold season! Include cold medicine, tissues, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, chapstick, and vitamins. Maybe even toss in some soup!

a red plastic tub with halls defense, air fresheners, apple pie candy, gum, blistex, downy wrinkle releaser, and febreze in it on a brown table with title text reading College Care Package

DIY a shower pouf with this fun spring college care package! “April showers” is a fun way to incorporate some shower supplies like soap, shampoo, body wash, a loofah, and maybe even some towels.

two softsoap body wash with crocheted scrubbies hanging on them with paper tags reading love you and april showers with a box of nail polish, lotion and other care items in a green and white checkered box next to them on a white wood background

Clean Theme

Planning a visit? Gently nudge your student to clean up before you get there with a clever play on a clean theme.

This clean-up college care package is such a fun and unique idea! Boost your student’s confidence with your faith in their ability to “wipe up with good grades” while sneaking in some cleaning supplies.

candy, tic tacs, paddle ball, paper towels, purple cloth in a paper bag on a white table with colored tic tacs on it with title text reading College Care Package Cleaning Up

Stress Relief

One of my favorite care package ideas is this stress relief care package. It’s full of fun little pick-me-ups sure to brighten any college student’s day.

Include lavender scented items (it helps with relaxation) and maybe even a diffuser.

a stress relief college care package in a green plastic tray with paper tags attached to plastic bags and glass jars reading cuddle up, take a bite, bake it up, and soak it off , all on a wood table

Color Theme

A fun way to include random items is to theme your care package around a color. Whether you choose one related to a holiday occurring during the month (e.g. orange and/or black for Halloween, red for Valentine’s Day), your student’s school colors, or just your child’s favorite color(s).

For example, check out this all-red college care package!

a red cardboard box full of various candy, like kisses, pockies, and twizzlers on a white table

Gender Specific

Depending on whether you have a son or a daughter, your student might have very different needs so send a care package specific to those needs.

For example, send this super fun college care package for women to your daughter!

a pink box with a paper tag that reads missing you with qtips, lotion, candy, cloth bags, razors and playtex in it on a white wood table

Other Fun Themes

How cute is this DIY graduation care package?

a chalkboard decoration with text reading life of the party with a couple of photos on it and paper gold glasses and lips on a stick on a white table with colored confetti on it

I absolutely love this Ghostbuster theme college care package!

m&ms, plastic bags of candy, pack of pencils, toiletry bag with toothpaste, shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant, and mouthwash in it, all in a a cardboard box decorated to look like ghostbusters green slime

Care Package Tips and Resources

Don’t forget to include a note from home. Whether it’s a greeting card or handwritten note, you student will appreciate your words of support.

You can even include several by sneaking small notes (on sticky notes or fortune cookie style) into individual items. These free printable college care package notes are so clever!

printable college care package notes, two razors, scissors with blue handle, and a black pen on a white background

Find out how to package brownies for shipping to send in your care packages!

plastic bags and tubs full of brownies next to a priority mail cardboard box on a white wood table with title text reading Tips for How to Package Brownies for Shipping

Aren’t those all so fun? I just love putting together a simple college care package to connect with my college kids.

It’s such a simple way to show that you care, and it always makes their day to get a special package from home!

Care Package Subscription

If you want to put your care packages on auto pilot while still providing your favorite student with college essentials, consider signing up for the College Delivery Club.

College Delivery Club
College Delivery Club

Every month from September through December and February through May, a new box will be shipped that contains an assortment of food, snacks, study supplies, laundry essentials, personal care products and something fun.

The items are chosen by students who are currently on college so the items are on target. Plus, shipping is already included in the subscription price so there are no hidden fees.

College Delivery Club

You can read more details and sign up here.

More Ideas for College Students

With three years of parenting a college student behind me, I’ve had plenty of time to research and brainstorm lots of topics related to college students. Here are some other posts you might find helpful:

1 thought on “20 Thoughtful Care Package Ideas for College Students”

  1. I love all these themed ideas! What a fun way to meet some practical needs and brighten your child’s day! 🙂 I also think a few fun toys – say some koosh balls or frisbees or a basketball hoop for their door – will always be a hit. Moving away to college doesn’t make them any less of a kid at heart, and little toys might provide some much-needed stress relief! I wrote a few other practical ideas at https://debtakesherlifeback.com/college-care-package/

    Reply

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