College students love receiving care packages from home. They are tangible reminders of how much they are loved and missed, and they bring a little bit of home to someone who may be far away. Plus, everyone loves receiving packages!

Here are some care package ideas for things that college students will appreciate. You may want to pick a theme and go with it or combine ideas from several areas for a truly one-of-a-kind surprise.

1. Food

Always a big hit, food gifts can be personalized to match a student’s specific tastes. You might want to send a batch of their favorite homemade cookies, or a supply of a favorite item that may not be available in their college town. Prepackaged snack foods, such as popcorn, cereal bars, trail mix, and the like are also good to have on hand. With the cold weather fast approaching, you might also want to help them stock up on flavored coffees, hot chocolate, or teas.

2. Gift Cards

With the advent of gift cards, providing specialized gifts to those far away has never been easier. Send gifts cards for businesses, such as Starbucks, Subway, Pizza Hut, or other favorites. You can use the internet to find out which establishments are within a convenient travel distance for your student.

3. Mixed CD / Playlist

Burn a CD of favorite or new music or create a digital playlist for them. You can use a theme, such as “Study Music” to listen to while studying or “Exercise Music” to listen to while exercising or other ideas depending on your kid’s interests or create a true “Mix” tape by combining a variety of music types. Kids appreciate the personalization, and it can be a great opportunity for you to share with them new music you think they might enjoy.

4. Holiday Decorations

A little décor can add holiday cheer to the drabbest of dorms, but kids might not think to purchase these items on their own. Think simple and space-efficient. String lights, wall and door decorations, a tiny tree. If you have little ones at home, handmade snowflakes or holiday drawings are also good ideas. For a special touch, send a favored holiday item from your student’s childhood. This piece of nostalgia will feel like a little bit of home.

5. Scrapbook Supplies

If you have a creative kid who likes taking pictures but doesn’t have time to create scrapbooks from scratch, try pre-made scrapbooks and pages. Throw in some photo paper, and encourage your child to capture university life on these pages. Try places like Michael’s Arts and Crafts for tons of scrapbooking ideas and supplies. Remember, to keep it simple. Or, create a scrapbook at home, chronicling events your child may be missing, and send it to them at school. This way, they can feel a part of what’s happening at home.

Bonus: Other College Care Package Ideas

Restock laundry supplies by sending detergents, dryer sheets, and most importantly, quarters. If your child doesn’t have a first aid kit, pack up basic medical supplies such as bandages, first aid creams, pain relievers, and the like. Most students wouldn’t think to purchase these items until they are needed. Bath items, such as new toothbrushes, razors, body washes, and shampoos in soothing scents, are also fun to receive.

5 College Care Package Ideas