Whenever someone in your life is away from home, feeling lonely, or in need of appreciation, a care package can be the perfect gift for letting them know that you're thinking of them. Often sent to college students, kids attending summer camp, and deployed military, a care package can be filled with anything they might want or need. Care packages and baskets are often full of small items like toys, games, books, or letters. They can be arranged in many different fun and unique ways, but regardless of the kind of package, the intent is always the same: to make someone smile. When sending something as a parent, you can also get kids involved; have them create some cute, handmade items to let the recipient know that they care about them, too.
DIY College Care Packages
First-semester freshmen can get especially homesick after a few months of being away. Parents often send care packages to give them a little slice of home. A college student might like some healthy snacks and drinks, soft blankets and slippers, fancy lotions and soaps, or some home-baked goodness. Care packages can be just fun or specifically helpful. For example, those who suffer from a cold can enjoy a little package of teas, tissues, and medicines. Games, cleaning supplies, or restaurant gift cards for places near their school would also be appreciated. Of course, many parents choose to be creative. While it's important to remember that they are not your baby anymore, you can still have a lot of fun reminding them of their childhood cares with stuffed animals, comics, books, or just simple reminders of love!
Summer Camp Packages
A care package would make a great gift when your baby is going to summer camp, too. While they are similar to a college care package, summer camp packages should encourage sharing. These can be considered as tools with which to make new friends. Toys, playing cards, crafts, and games are often included. While thinking about what to include, check the camp in question's rules regarding packages. If no rules are posted on their official website, you could also check with the camp's counselors.
For Deployed Military
No one appreciates a care package quite like someone in the military. Deployed military, whether they're in the Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Army, love receiving gifts and items from home. Letters often are most appreciated, so be sure to include one in your package. Using the United States Postal Service's instructions, you can send your own care package overseas. On the other hand, you can also purchase and send pre-screened packages from organizations such as the United Service Organizations (or USO). Note that some items like socks, toothbrushes, photos, and cards are very appreciated and useful, whereas others, such as carbonated beverages, plants, fruits, alcohol, or firearms, can't be sent at all. Be sure to pack things well; the norm is to pack items in heavy zip-top bags. Also, be sure to check on any weight and size restrictions for the package. Often, the service member will receive it in 10 to 14 days, depending on the destination.
Items Kids Can Make
When you're creating a care package, be sure to get the whole family involved. Kids can let their mother, father, sister, brother, or friend know that they care, too. Simple homemade crafts created by children make a great addition to a care package. Those could include anything from drawings to homemade ornaments during the holidays to school art projects. For military-member gifts especially, it's important to get young children involved.