Spoonful's College Care Package Ideas

College Care Packages

Many kids miss their families while they're away at college. Receiving a package from home can be the perfect pick-me-up. What better way to let your favorite college student know how much you miss them while they're away than by sending them a college care package?  

Not sure what type of items to send in a care package? We've got some suggestions!

What Should You Include in a College Care Package?

When making a gift box for a college student, you'll want to include items you know they'll appreciate. Of course, that will depend on your child, but there are certain items that most kids are bound to love. 

Food Items

You'll want to include some special treats in the package. For example, you might consider including their favorite cookies, chips, or other junk food. Also, consider including healthy snacks to help ensure their nutritional needs are met, which can help them in their studies. Convenient foods and easy meals they make in their dorms will make their lives a little easier.  

Self-Care Items

Self-care items are a great idea for care packages. The thing about college kids is that they often forget about taking care of themselves—sometimes because they're too busy and other times because they're too broke. So you might want to include shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, dry shampoo, and body wash in their care boxes. Self-care items like fuzzy robes, slippers, and socks can also be a nice pick-me-up. 

School Supplies

School supplies are another great idea to include in a college care package. After all, attending classes, studying, and doing homework is the entire reason they're in college. Notebooks, planners, pens, pencils, and highlighters are all useful for students. 

Gift Cards

A gift card is one of the most thoughtful college care package ideas you can include in a care box. Does your student have a favorite snack from a chain, such as Insomnia Cookies, Cinnabon, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or Auntie Anne's Pretzels? Gift cards for the local grocery store, campus gift shop, or a coffee shop, will also be appreciated.

What Are Some Practical Items To Include in a College Care Package?

A college student will generally appreciate practical items that will make life a little smoother. Therefore, when making a college care package, be sure to consider things that may be useful.

Thanks to the pandemic, sanitary items are more practical than ever. Consider sending your kid some hand sanitizer as a part of their care package. You might also send them some face masks. A bottle of multivitamins can also be a good idea to help remind them to take care of themselves, especially when flu season hits.

Every college student would appreciate having spare chargers for their devices. If your college girl loves makeup, a new eyeshadow palette could be a nice treat. Another idea is a new pair of flip-flops they can use when they hit the showers. 

What Unique Items can I Include?

Are you looking for some really unique items to surprise your student with? There are so many cool things you can include in care packages.  

Gift cards to salons, barbershops, or spas in the area are a great idea. If you have a daughter, she probably loves to get her hair and nails done. Your son will also need to get his hair cut while he's away at school. 

Tech supplies can also be a good idea. An iPad or other tech device that may be useful for your kid's studies. Wireless headphones are perfect for the college student who loves listening to music and doesn't want to disrupt the whole dorm room. 

College kids enjoy doing things off-campus when they can. Consider sending tickets to a local event, such as a comedy show or concert. Movie tickets can also be a good option.

What About Healthy Snack Options?

What student doesn't love to snack? Although they'd probably love a box filled with junk food, healthy options are important, too. Luckily, there are a number of well-balanced snacks you can include in a college care package.  

Popcorn, pretzels, trail mix, veggie chips, and tortilla chips and salsa are all healthy snacks that will help give your kid their junk food fix. 

Dried fruit, almonds, and pumpkin or sunflower seeds all make great additions to care packages. Another great snack idea is granola or granola bars. Protein or fiber bars are a good care package idea, too. These options will give your kid something to grab when they're on the go.  

When making a healthy care package for a college student, one thing you won't want to forget to include is dark chocolate! Dark chocolate has been found to boost brain health, improve attention, and help with memory in young adults—making it one of the best treats for studying!

What Are Some Self-Care Items To Include in a College Care Package?

For the average college student, self-care ranks pretty low on their priority list. They're busy balancing classes, homework, exams, and trying to have a social life. As a result, they're not often thinking about ways to de-stress or take care of themselves. This is why sending self-care items in their college care package is a great idea. 

Pre-Made Care Packages

Every student is different, and you know better than anyone what helps provide your kid with stress relief. For some students, that may mean cozy socks, a warm blanket, and a cup of tea. If this sounds like your kid, our Constant Comforts Care Package at Spoonful just might fit the bill.  

For other students, chocolate chip cookies, a cup of hot chocolate, and a call to mom might be a better option. In this case, we recommend our Cookies, Cocoa, Call Your Mom package—which comes with a dorm-sized sign to remind them to call you. 

DIY Self-Care Ideas

Sometimes, a personalized care package is just what your kid needs for self-care. For example, you might include items like bath bombs, shaving cream, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner to help them feel better. 

A pair of fuzzy slippers, a stress ball, and a good book are all great options to include in a care box. Of course, you'll also want to include a mug and their drink of choice, whether that's coffee, hot cocoa, or tea.  

Aromatherapy is another good idea for self-care. Consider getting your child some essential oils or air fresheners with a soothing scent. 

How Can You Make a College Care Package for Students Struggling With Homesickness?

Homesickness is common among freshmen. It's not easy to be a student who lives on-campus—especially if they've chosen a college across the country.  

You can help ease their homesickness a little with a college care package. There are several things you can include to remind them of home. 

Scented Products 

Things that smell like home can also help. For example, a diffuser or air freshener might make them feel like they're right back in your house. Candles aren't typically allowed in dorms, but if your kid lives in an apartment near campus, you might consider sending them a homesick candle. 

Food Items 

Another idea is to include food items that remind them of home. For example, if you can only find a certain snack or beverage in your local area, you'll want to include it. Otherwise, you might consider including their favorite snacks, whether that means a certain type of chips, fruit snacks, or homemade cookies. 

Consider including some of their favorite easy foods or meals they eat at home, such as microwavable rice cups or Pop-Tarts. If your kid has a favorite coffee they can make from their dorm room, you'll want to include that, too. 


If your child is homesick while at college, you'll want to include photos of them with family members, friends from home, and pets in their package. They can hang these photos in their dorm to look at until their next visit home. 

When creating care packages for a homesick college student, you'll want to consider what will make them feel better. That might mean sending decor for their dorm or writing them a letter letting them know that they're missed, too. 

What Are Some Ways To Make a College Care Package Sustainable and Eco-Friendly?

When your kid is away at college, they might decide they want to adopt a greener lifestyle. If this is one of your child's interests, the good news is there are ways to incorporate this in their care package! 

Some green college care package ideas include eco-friendly cleaning supplies, reusable containers and silverware for them to use on campus, and a reusable water bottle.  

If you're planning to send your student any care products like deodorant, shampoos, conditioners, or body washes, consider sending them environmentally-friendly brands. 

What Are Some Holiday-Themed College Care Package Ideas?

If your kid is at school during a favorite holiday, you might consider sending a college care package to help them celebrate. Here are some holiday-themed package ideas to consider. 


If your student is at college for Halloween, send them a box filled with their favorite candies. From Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and M&Ms to candy corn and Swedish fish, your child will appreciate the gesture. You can also include Halloween-themed stationary, fuzzy socks, and pajamas. A nice added touch would be to include pictures of their Halloween costumes from their childhood. 

Valentine's Day 

Show your college-aged loved one how much you care with a Valentine’s Day themed box. You'll want to include some Valentine's Day treats, such as their favorite candies, cookies, and other snacks. In addition, Valentine's Day-themed cozy socks or slippers, and pajamas can all be thoughtful and practical options to include in the care package. 

St. Patrick's Day

You can get really creative when it comes to a St. Patrick's day care box. You might include anything green or rainbow-themed, such as a box of Lucky Charms, Skittles, sour cream and onion chips, Tic-Tacs, pens, and more. You could also include Irish Potato candy. 

Cinco de Mayo 

If your son or daughter loves Cinco de Mayo, this can make for some great care packages. You can include gift cards or delicious traditional foods such as You tortilla chips with queso or salsa.

What Are Some of the Most Popular College Care Package Themes?

You can send a care package at any point during your kid's college year, but there are certain times when it may be more appreciated than others. There are tons of occasions when your child will appreciate receiving a care box from you. 

Spring Break Going Away Box

Spring break is something college students look forward to every year. If your kid is going to be taking a trip for spring break, this can be a great time to send a box. If they're headed somewhere warm and beachy, you can include a new bathing suit, sunscreen with SPF, aloe gel, a new pair of sunglasses, and a new hat in their package. Another thing they'll be sure to appreciate is money or gift cards they can spend during their trip. 

Midterms or Final Exams

Studying for a midterm or final exam can be grueling when you're in school. This is one of the most common times when a student may forget about their self-care. So it's the perfect time to send them a box filled with items that will relieve stress.  

Midterms or finals are also a great time to send your kid some of their favorite snacks. Of course, you'll also want to include instant coffee or K-cups if they have a Keurig to help get them through those long nights of studying. 

Get Well Soon Box

One of the most helpless feelings as a parent is when your college student gets sick while away from home. All you want to do is make them some homemade chicken noodle soup, but they're too far away from home for you to do that. A solution? You can send a pre-made care box to them at college. We recommend our Get Well Soon Care Package, which contains four to six servings of soup (or mac 'n cheese) and other goodies to help your sick child feel better. 

Birthday Gift Package

If your student is away at school during their birthday, you'll want to do something special for them. A birthday care package can include their gift, cupcakes or a cake, cookies, favorite snacks, a party hat, and a birthday card. This is one package you won't want to forget to send!

Pet Sympathy Boxes

One of the most heartbreaking things that can happen to a student is if their pet dies while they're away at school. While nothing can eliminate the heartbreak, care packages can help them feel better. Cat or dog sympathy gifts are a good way to let your student know you're thinking about them during their difficult time. Some more ideas include personalized jewelry with their pet's name and photos of them with their pet. 

Graduation Care Package

If your college-aged child is taking their last set of final exams before graduation, you might consider sending them some early college graduation gifts! Encouraging charm bracelets or a mug with a positive phrase like "She believed she could, so she did" are some great gift options. You might also consider sending them money to pay for their cap and gown. 

What Are Some Fun and Creative Ways To Package and Deliver a College Care Package?

If you're planning to send a care package to a college student, the most creative way to deliver it is by visiting them! Taking the package directly to their dorm room will show them how much you care—and give them a nice visit with you to break up the time until they come home for their next visit. 

If your college student is planning to come home to visit, you might also find this an opportune time to give them their care box. You can send them back to college with a box filled with goodies as a reminder of home.  

Unfortunately, it's not always possible to deliver a college care package to your student in person. If they are attending an out-of-state college or one that's not in the local area, then you might have no other choice than to mail any care packages you want to send directly to their college. And that's okay! Surprise mail is one thing many kids look forward to when they're at school.  

Whether you're planning to make a DIY package or send pre-made care packages to a college kid, it's important to ensure you have the right instructions on how to mail them properly. Remember to never deliver a care box to your kid's PO box if they have one. You'll want to check out the university's website for instructions on how to send a package to a student.  

How Can You Make a College Care Package Personal and Meaningful?

Care packages can be a wonderful pick-me-up for college students. Not only can the items you include really help them out, they also remind them how much you care.

Spoonful of Comfort knows how much a gift from home can mean to your loved ones. Our College Care Package is a great option, as are self-care packages, an assortment of cozy comforts and, of course, lots of delicious food options.

Your student has left home, but they’ll always be your child. Let us help you find just the right gift to make them feel loved and cared for!