As the parent of both a daughter and a son who are students, I can say without hesitation that it’s much harder to come up with college care package ideas for guys than it is for girls.
If you’ve struggled like me, walking past fuzzy socks, cute hair ties, and nail polish in frustration, here are some care package ideas that will make a young man smile (and hopefully call home!) with gratitude.
And, if you are looking for care package ideas for girls, here are our favorites.
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Your son will never have an excuse of a dead phone battery when he has one of these compact and lightweight chargers in his backpack. Anker power banks are made specifically for Apple devices including iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
Noise-cancelling earbuds are a great way to shut out a noisy roommate or loud hallmates and these, made by Soundcore Space, are highly recommended by the New York Times Wirecutter product review site as the best lower-price product. This would be an expensive care package product but so worth it if your son can focus on school work in the dorm.
Fanatics is the #1 site for college gear, with more than 500 schools represented. Also, if your son is a fan of any pro teams, look here first for clothes, shoes, dorm decor, and more.
YETIs have cult-like popularity, and a personalized mug with your son’s initials and/or college logo would be amazing.
This wildly-popular card game is fun and easy to learn. This is one of the best-sellers in the Grown and Flown community.
While on the Fanatics page, look at the NCAA-branded shoes for many colleges. If your son is a student — or merely a big fan — you will want to check these shoes out as a special college care package gift.
Send your son these three stress balls in three different levels of resistance.
Meet Oodie (pronounced “hoodie” without the “h”); the wearable, washable, huggable, affordable, and ADORABLE blanket. Every day is a G’Day, thanks to this Australian brand.
If you’ve picked this magical stuff up, you know how fun and therapeutic it is. Great for fidgeting while studying or just contemplating life. It comes in all kinds of cool colors and in regular and mini-sized tins. This is one of the most often-recommended items for college care package ideas for guys.
Rugged and Dapper lip balm has become a very popular brand for Grown and Flown parents to gift to their sons. With Beeswax, Vitamin E, Sunflower, Jojoba and Rosemary Oil, it helps sooth very chapped lips.
Fall will bring chilly days, so why not remind him to stuff a hat like this in a coat pocket for cold morning walks across campus? This is a popular brand, and it comes in dozens of colors.
This is one of our favorite games to play with our teens and one they can play with new friends at school.
These microwavable mug cakes from Duncan Hines are genius — just add water, stir, microwave for four minutes, and enjoy a warm snack. Each box has four pouches which make them perfect for sharing.
I know it’s a mouthful to say, but please trust me that your son needs these in his life. Yes, they’re going to cost a bit more than a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies, as they should. Thank goodness for the Dutch bakers who came up with this magical little sandwich of waffled wafers with a buttery caramel center.
The best way to eat one is to place it on top of a cup of hot coffee — or herbal tea — for about 90-seconds until it gets warm and melty. Unreal.
This thin, handy tool can slide into a wallet and serves multi-purposes; it can be used as a can be used as Can Opener, Cutting Edge, Flat Screwdriver, Ruler, Bottle Opener, 4 Position Wrench, Butterfly Screw Wrench, Saw Blade, Direction Ancillary Indication (Water Compass), 2 Position Wrench, Keychain or lanyard Hole.
There will come a day when your son will run out of all his clean clothes. Send him this great gag gift, and he can wear this t-shirt, giving mom the credit she deserves.
Boys and injuries just seem to go together like PB and J. Why did I not think to send my son off to college with a cold therapy pack? Wishful thinking, I suppose. This gel pack is heavy-duty and sewn along the double-sealed seams to prevent leaks.
It conforms to any body part when frozen, so great for use on knees, ankles, wrists, and necks. Also helpful, when folded up, it’ll fit in that small freezer section of dorm-sized refrigerators.
It’s a few months into school now, and your son is still looking for a way to break the ice with some people in his hall. This fun and engaging game is an easy ice-breaker.
Your college kid needs this football to toss around with his new pals.
Wildly popular, this is a game they can play outdoors with new friends.
By this semester, your son has undoubtedly lost more than a few socks. Time to send replacements. Here are NIKE Crew Socks, a set of six pairs that comes in three colors.
Eating in a college dining hall begins to lose its appeal a few months into the first semester. Being able to take a break and cook something in their own dorm room will be a gift to your student. Just add noodles and water and nuke. The flexible lid’s a strainer, too, so they can drain, toss with sauce, and eat straight from the pot.
A small sports bag to carry gear in is a great care package gift. This one has zipper compartments and backpack straps.
Hydro Flask is one of the most popular brands for college kids and you can pick from many different sizes and colors.
Use any kind of popcorn kernel in this silicone rubber bowl. This is a great, healthy snack for your perpetually hungry teen, and it folds for easy storage.
Take a deep dive into movie magic with this poster that invites your teen to keep track of 100 iconic films. They can use a coin to scratch off each title and reveal surprise, movie-related artwork underneath. This is a clever way to decorate a drab dorm wall, perfect for any movie buffs.
No matter what you end up putting in a care package for that special teen boy in your life, he’ll love the excitement of receiving a box from you and will feel all the love.
Fingers crossed for a phone call home!
You Might Also Want to Read:
College Care Packages from Home: 50 Great Ideas
Best Places to Order a College Care Package
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