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Classes have been in session for several weeks now at most colleges and universities. Hopefully, your student is settled in and having a great time! Even if this is not their freshman year, but especially if it is, the high of a new school year is wearing off and some students may be feeling a little homesick. It’s time for a college student care package!
No matter how old we are, it’s always comforting to receive a package from home. There are countless things you can include in a care package. Just give some thought to things your child likes and what they would love to get from home.
Ideas can include:
- Stuffed animals
- Favorite snacks
- Gift cards to the movies or their favorite store or store
- DVDs of their favorite movies
- Phone chargers or other small electronics
Many universities offer a care package program where you can purchase a collection of packages for the entire year all at once. At my daughter’s university, they have themed care packages that include Welcome Week, Hang In There, Out of the Blue, Final Exams and all the major holidays. If your child’s birthday falls during the school year, you can even have them send a birthday cake on the student’s birthday. It’s really a pretty cool setup, and they provide you with cute cards that you fill out all at once for each occasion and mail back to them. The cards you have written are then included with the appropriate care package.
We purchased the full year of care packages last year for our daughter’s freshman year, and I seem to remember it was about $150 for the whole year. That may seem a little pricey, but if you’ve ever shipped anything with UPS you know that you would pay that alone in shipping charges to send regular care packages. The company that provides the care packages did a good job of selling us on not wanting our child to be the only one who didn’t get a package when all the other students did. 🙂 I envisioned our daughter being like Harry Potter sitting all forlorn in the dining hall at Hogwarts, watching all his classmates getting wands and news and even a howler from home while poor Harry got nothing. So we bought into that hook line and sinker. I asked my daughter last year if she would have felt left out if she hadn’t gotten the care packages. She said no. She said she liked getting them, but there were lots of students who didn’t get them and it wasn’t a big deal.
If you do decide to create your own care packages, here are some tips.
- Money is usually tight for college students, so gift cards can be a wonderful thing to send. They are lightweight and therefore inexpensive to ship. Just a few extra bucks to go to a movie or a restaurant or their favorite store can boost morale for a student away at school.
- If you decide you want to make cookies or brownies, Pringle cans are sturdy containers that keep them from getting smashed. Just clean out an empty can and place a stack of cookies inside. You can even decorate the outside of the can with their school colors or a holiday theme.
- Unless you live at the North Pole and your child attends school in-state, you will probably want to shy away from chocolate chip cookies until the winter months. 🙂 Hot shipping warehouses and mail trucks can wreak havoc on chocolate goodies. Go with oatmeal or peanut butter cookies or Snickerdoodles in the warm fall and spring months. If your child doesn’t like any of the non-chocolate cookies, then just save cookies for the colder months and make them their favorites then.
- Try coming up with your own themes. If you child loves movies, send them a DVD of one of their favorites, along with some microwave popcorn, hot cocoa mix, those big boxes of movie theater candy , and a cozy blanket or new pajamas.
- Getting sick while at school can make a student feel alone. Put together a Just In Case package for them and include cold medicine, a hot water bottle, a digital thermometer, and some chicken noodle Cup-A-Soup mix. If you really want to splurge, there is even a Pure Cashmere Cable Knit Hot Water Bottle that I’m pretty sure could cure even a broken heart. 🙂
- Put together a “Scare Package” for Halloween and include their favorite candy from their trick or treating days. Throw in a scary movie DVD and some small Halloween decorations for their dorm room.
- For final exams, you can put together their favorite coffees or teas, and healthy snacks like power bars and trail mixes. Include something fun to read to give them a break from their studies. Students have access to enough junk food on campus, so providing them with healthy alternatives is a good thing to do.
The trick to not killing yourself on shipping charges is to go lightweight and small. That’s why gift cards, Pringle cans full of cookies, DVDs and little snack packets are a good way to go.
If you are short on time or just want the convenience of care packages that are already put together, there are many companies that will do it for you. Just do a search for care packages and take your pick. You can even order ready-made care packages from Amazon! Use your Prime membership and have it in your student’s hands in two days.
If you decide you want to make your own cookies to send, I want to share my Snickerdoodle recipe that I have made for years. Cookie. Cinnamon. Sugar. What’s not to like? 🙂
- 1 c. shortening
- 1 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 c. sifted flour
- 2 t. cream of tartar
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 2 T. sugar
- 2 T. cinnamon
Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together and mix thoroughly with the egg/shortening/sugar mixture. Roll into balls about one inch in diameter. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Roll the balls into the cinnamon and sugar mixture, coating thoroughly. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees until lightly browned but still soft. Do not overbake. The ideal Snickerdoodle is a bit crunchy on the outside and still soft on the inside.
Eat as soon as possible. 🙂
Share your creative ideas for college student care packages in the comment section. I’d love to hear your ideas!
Be sure to check out Pinterest!