Good Ideas for Packages Sent to Kids in College

Updated on August 30, 2018
❤.M. asks from Santa Monica, CA
10 answers

I have some ideas but would love to hear what you all have to say.
What are some great things to put in a care package for college students?
What do remember receiving in your college experience or what do you think is most beneficial? TIA

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from San Francisco on

My kids LOVED these! Non perishable snacks and treats are by far the favorite. Sometimes I would do a theme, like for Halloween or Valentines day. I remember doing a Trader Joes box a few times, all their fave goodies from their fave store :-) I would also include things like school supplies (pens, post its, index cards, etc-yes they still use these!) Gift cards to local places like Starbucks, Chipotle, etc. Cute socks, toiletries and reusable water bottles. For my girls I included some cosmetic stuff.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Boston on

A lot of companies offer a "care package" service which is convenient but it takes the fun out of it for the kids. Every gets the same box of pretzels and peanut butter crackers at the same time, and it's not very personal. So, although it's more work, I'd send personalized and unique packages.

The kids get plenty of junk food in vending machines and from other kids on the "package service" plan, so I'd go for the healthier stuff. My son made his own granola bars during high school, so I continued those in college - any recipe with oats, flax seed, fruit like raisins/currants, honey/agave and peanut or cashew butter will work. Make sure the roommate doesn't have a nut butter allergy. They pack well because they aren't round like cookies, so they don't slide around and break.

Despite my above comment, kids do like homemade cookies too! Bubblewrap is the best packing material to prevent too much sliding around, I found. Also seasonal stuff - I sent Halloween candy and pumpkin muffins, and at Chanukah I sent 8 little packages of traditional foods/treats.

Sometimes kids need to laugh - so don't be afraid to send silly stuff like those fake vampire fangs at Halloween, bubble solution while the weather is still warm, and any other favorites from when your kid was little. When it gets cold, try lip balm and hand warmers, an extra pair of gloves, a silly winter hat (my son had a whole collection of things with antlers or a fake zebra tail).

Small gift cards are fun too. Do enclose something like photos relevant to the time of year - photo of their first snow fort when the first storm is expected at school, Halloween costumes, making Valentine's cards for Grandma, etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

This varies a lot from kid to kid.
While some like getting cookies and candy to share with roommate and friends in their dorm our son doesn't care to keep food in his dorm.

Any sort of gift card is great to any store or restraunt they can easily get to.
iTunes gift card is great too.

We find it handy to keep a shared list of things he needs is a good way for son to tell us what he needs so we get him practical things that don't junk up his room - space is tight.

Extra long computer or phone charging cables
Command hooks
electric candle warmer/wax warmer - while they can't burn any candles they can use a wax warmer to help make their room smell nice
anything they regularly use and are running short on - deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, laundry soap pods, mouthwash, batteries, flashlight, toothpaste

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My son is a freshman. We just moved him in on Sunday. He's settling well.

I left him with cookies. He has already asked for more cookies.

My girlfriend's son - who is a junior this year - asked for cookies, gift cards to local food places and grocery store (they have their own apartment this year and can shop locally).

oh yeah - my son lost his sunglasses and wants a new pair!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

candy and granola bars. good socks. a pack of pens. a pack of sharpies. post-its. a scarf. sanitary wipes. deodorant. a tiger-eye or piece of fluorite. a personal note. 5 Hour Energy. gift card to a coffee shop.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

so far my now sophomore wants:

gift cards to local eateries (even though he's got the meal plan)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My one daughter said that snacks and treats were easy to get on campus, but quick, healthy food wasn't as easy. She liked protein bars, healthy trail mix, and flavor packets to add to water. Another daughter had plenty of time to eat breakfast, but not lunch, so I was always looking for easy, packable lunch items she could throw in her bag. Two of my kids' college was near a local grocery store so I would also send them gift cards for the grocery store to pick up fresh fruit and veggies (only one of all my kids had a meal plan).

My girls always appreciated when I would send feminine products since they were so expensive to purchase near the campus. Tampons, razors, nice shampoo, etc - stuff they'd rather not spend their money on. Boys? Obviously, not so much :)

In every box I sent, I would include a picture of them doing something with one of us before they left. Some of the pictures were years old and others were from their last visit home. That was the part they all loved the best - seeing which picture I picked to send them in that box. I have two in the military and I still do this in every box (both kids are currently deployed).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I worked in the Business Office / Mail room for a university for almost 14 years. The kids loved getting packages. Most didn't care what was in it. Their favorite things though were homemade goodies or if they have a favorite goodie even if it was not homemade. I don't send my son stuff as he's only an hour away and I would rather take something down to him or wait till he comes one as that's most weekends. But I will take him to Walmart and get him snacks and things for his room that he is needing.

If this is not for your kid specifically food is still goodies and toiletry's are nice. As they are one of the more expensive things they will probably go through. My son also appreciates when we buy him toilet paper. I know that probably sounds funny but the school provides them 1 ply and he doesn't like it one bit.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My parents had me on a prepaid credit card with a low credit limit on it in case I needed to walk or ride my bike for groceries -- practical, and could also be used anywhere, like a pizza joint if one of the kids wanted to get in their car and ask me to go out for lunch sometime. Otherwise, when they came to visit, they'd drive me to Publix and come shopping with me for items like tuna fish, saltine crackers, pudding cups, TV dinners and other non-perishables, along with other perishable items to be consumed immediately like lettuce or fruits (I had a mini-fridge). The non-perishables I could use as a snack, or if I missed meal time due to other commitments, so they came in handy. I think a gift card may be nice, a prepaid credit card, or if you want to send an actual item, things like granola bars, cereal bars, water, beef jerky, Gatorade, nuts, Raisinets, you can check on Google for suggestions, heck, Amazon even sells ready-made packages like this one: You can send tea bags or mac n cheese too, for example. What does he like to eat?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Nothing. They can get a JOB and buy their own stuff.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions