Halloween Care Package Ideas for Your College Kid

I’ve always suffered from HBDD: Holiday Big Deal Disorder. It’s not that I feel the need to make every holiday or birthday or special occasion a bit overblown, it’s that I want to.

Let’s put it this way, if themed decorations are involved, so am I. So when my daughter went to college and I was faced with an entire calendar year of holidays she’d miss out on, I knew there was only one solution: I’d have to get the holiday to her.

Sending your college kid a quick, surprise care package box with a few random snacks or mailing an actual card at random intervals throughout the year is always appreciated (getting actual mail is ridiculously exciting for them), but when a special occasion is in play, it’s time to step up to the big leagues and bust out the creativity and old scrapbook supplies you’ve had stacked in your cabinet since you stopped making photo albums when they were in pre-school.

Note: G&F may receive compensation from purchases made through the links in this post but the opinions are our own.

Halloween College Care Package Ideas 

College kids love Halloween. They can finally dress in a non Mom-censored costume. To help keep you in denial about what sexy professional they’re dressing up as, send a box of rated-G classics to balance things out.

If you’re sending candy, make sure to buy in large quantities, like this big bag of chocolates so they can share with everyone around them.
Birthday and holiday care packages
Other ideas (besides candy):
Pumpkin String Lights with Battery
Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages
LED Photo Clip String Lights
Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages
Inexpensive lightweight décor for dorm room, like these signs:
Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages
Yellow Caution tape for their door
caution tape
Glow in the dark wall decals
Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages
Bags of Dracula teeth, spider rings, etc. for them to share
Black nail polish like this one from OPI
black nail polish

Black lights (or orange lightbulbs) to make their room spooky
Inexpensive wigs, funny glasses, or other small costume accessories
Halloween socks, tights, leggings, boxers, and t-shirts
Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages
Fun idea: Use cotton spider webs  or Skinny Pop popcorn bags for box filler.

Birthday Gift Ideas

Perhaps one of the hardest parts about your college kid not being at home is not being able to share their birthday with them. Packing a fun, celebratory birthday box with treats and gifts for roommates and friends to also enjoy is a great way to make sure they still feel special and, even more importantly, for you to still feel like you’re a part of their big day (you are the OG part of it, after all).

Small mylar balloons (the kind that inflate with a straw)
Inflate balloons (keep small) with small gifts inside (keychains, bottle openers, nail polish, makeup, etc.). They have to pop to get to the gift!
Baked By Melissa cupcakes are adorable and tasty!

Confetti cake flavored snacks like Birthday Cake Oreos, pop-tarts, Rice Krispie treats, etc.

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages
Scratchers Lottery Tickets
Memory Jar – fill Mason jar with tiny notes of memories of birthdays past
21st birthday kit – miniatures, cute drink cups, Alka-Seltzer, Advil, shot glass, Uber gift card

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

Pro-tip: Use fun, colorful filler paper and wrap the outside of the entire box in wrapping paper (then cover in clear packing tape) so the care package itself becomes a huge package.

Fun birthday gift ideas to help them celebrate with friends:

Air popcorn popper

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

Spikeball set for an outdoor birthday game

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

Popular board games for game night:


Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

Cards Against Humanity

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages


Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

Holiday Care Package Ideas

Your kid will most likely be home for Christmas or Hanukkah, but that doesn’t mean you can’t send a box of decorations and fun surprises a few weeks beforehand. Want to prolong the fun? Wrap each item separately (even small things like Tic-Tacs and gum) and have them open one every few days until it’s time to come home.

Easy ideas for all holiday boxes:

Holiday themed socks, leggings, boxers, or pajamas

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packagesHoliday themed mugs filled with holiday candy
Holiday themed snacks or baked goods

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

Seasonal scented lotion, hand sanitizer, etc.

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages
Any small items and snacks with the color theme of the holiday (color themes are a super easy way to fill a box quickly!)

Finals week

Birthdays and holidays might be occasions when you think your college kid is in dire need of extra love and attention from home, but the week leading up to finals is really when those homemade cookies and comfort items are the most vital.

Here are some great ideas of things to send to perk your kid up and give him the extra oomph to make it through the week.

To boost their health: EmergenC or other vitamins; tea bags; instant soup; healthy snacks like nuts or granola bars; honey sticks; vitamin C or zinc lozenges.

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

To ease their stress and anxiety: aromatherapy oils &/or diffuser; face masks; lotion; soft socks, throw blankets or slippers; sleep masks; gift cards to coffee shops; fun magazines; fidget toys; coloring books; crayons or markers; Thinking Putty

Birthday gift ideas and holiday care packages

For test day: gum; mints; candy (“Keep on Rollin’” on a bag of Rolos); gift cards for a post-final lunch or coffee;

Still stuck for ideas? Don’t panic! No matter the reason or the season, Grown & Flown has your back. Check out our Amazon page full of ideas!

You Might Also Enjoy Reading:

College Care Packages from Home: 50 Great Ideas 

Best Places to Order a College Care Package 

Sometimes it's hard to know what gifts to get for your teenagers and college students. This list of birthday gift ideas and holiday gift ideas for your older kids has a little bit of everything that you can include in your next college care package, or have ready for them at Christmas. #giftideas #gifts #giftsforcollegekids #collegekids #teenagers #giftideasforcollegekids #carepackages #carepackage

About Michelle Newman

Michelle Newman spent 23 years as a stay at home mom to two daughters and most of the past seven writing about them. Even though they’re both now grown and flown, she’s learning that life in an empty nest is still full and the material just keeps coming. She tells stories on her blog,youremyfavoritetoday.com 

Read more posts by Michelle

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