41 Best Halloween Care Package Ideas for College Students

Image of a college student opening a care package. Close up of the box as she pulls the tape back. Note on the box says "happy halloween" with a sketched jack-o-lantern.

Surprising your college student with a Halloween care package is easy when you follow our 5 C’s of college care packages. Pick and choose from our list of 41 best ideas to fill a box of goodies they’re guaranteed to love.

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By the time Halloween rolls around, most college students have made it through midterm exams. They’re ready to relax and have some fun before the final push of the semester.

Halloween care packages are a great way to surprise them and send a little love their way.

The possibilities for Halloween care packages for college students are endless. The best combinations are festive and fun while also being practical and useful for college life.

With our suggestions, you’ll have no trouble putting together a fun care package that will put a smile on their face. From spooky decorations to favorite snacks, we’ve covered it all.

What do College Students Need?

Infographic on a light blue background. Title in white and black: "the 5 C's of College Care Packages." A graphic of a white, red and blue package is in the center with 5 white arrows pointing to these words in black: Convenience, Comfort, Customized, Creativity, Connection. Copyright 2023 FromaCollegeProf.com is at the bottom in black

Keep these 5 C’s of college care packages in mind anytime you send something to your college student: convenience, comfort, connection, creativity and customized.

I love telling parents how often their kids talk about them in class and how much they genuinely miss and love their families. And when they get a care package from home? They are absolutely thrilled.

These 5 C’s are what they really need from you–they’re getting plenty of opportunities to focus on academics and career preparation. But sometimes they neglect themselves and struggle to find a balance.

A thoughtful Halloween care package can be just what they need.

1. Convenience

College students are busy and if they live in a dorm, they don’t have easy access to kitchen appliances to prepare meals. Even those who live in an apartment don’t always have time (or the know-how) to cook meals that will keep them energized.

Including easy-to-eat snacks and meals in your care package is a great way to help them save time and stay fueled.

Our friend is a dietician with a son in college – her list of 45 dorm foods is a great place to grab ideas before you hit the grocery store.

2. Comfort

You probably already know that mental health for college students is a major concern on every university campus. I talk to my students about helpful resources on campus and the importance of both self-care and building resilience.

Including items in a care package that can help students relax and unwind is a great way to acknowledge their stress and show your support.

3. Connection

College can also be a lonely time, especially for students who are far away from home. As I mentioned earlier, your kids also genuinely miss you!

They will love items that help them feel connected to home and their loved ones, pets included.

4. Creativity

Stress and overwhelm are common feelings for college students. They’re young adults trying to figure out how to manage everything on their own for the first time. Creativity can be a powerful coping skill that gives students an outlet for expression and relaxation.

Include items that encourage students to step away from their studies and do something just for the fun of it. They need to do more things simply focused on the process rather than the final product.

5. Customize

Your college student will be grateful for any mail, but especially if it feels really personal to them. This can be as simple as including their favorite snack or a handwritten note.

If you want to add a customized item, you can find fun gifts to personalize on Etsy. (We love this option because it supports small businesses.)

Why Send a Care Package for Halloween?

For college students, Halloween can be a bittersweet holiday. While it might be a lot of fun on campus, it can also bring back memories of childhood celebrations and reminders of home. Especially if this is their first time being away.

They’re probably not expecting a care package, which means it’s the perfect time to send one! It’s after midterms and before final exams, and Halloween isn’t a typical gift-giving or card-sending holiday.

It’s also in that long stretch of the semester before they go home for Thanksgiving.

What college kid wouldn’t love a surprise care package filled with Halloween-themed treats and decorations?

Choosing the Right Halloween Themed Items

When it comes to putting together a great care package, choosing the right items doesn’t have to be a challenge. Remember the 5 C’s (convenience, comfort, connection, creativity, customized) and focus on fun ideas your kid will love.

Candy and Snacks

This is a no-brainer. Include some of your college student’s favorite snacks along with some Halloween candy. You can sneak in a few healthy dorm-friendly options too.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. granola, energy or protein bars
  2. fruit snacks
  3. trail mix
  4. instant noodles
  5. protein-packed instant oatmeal
  6. microwave popcorn
  7. halloween candy
  8. homemade treats (chocolate chip cookies or brownies)

Halloween Decorations

The best Halloween care package definitely includes a few items to decorate their dorm room or apartment. Depending on what they like, you could send fall-themed or spooky decorations.

For a spooky Halloween care package box, you could include:

  1. pumpkin string lights
  2. 3D bats
  3. a neon ghost
  4. webbing with glow and black fake spiders

Halloween Costumes

If they’re headed to a Halloween party and you know what costume they’re wearing, add a few accessories to the care package for an unexpected surprise:

  1. face paint
  2. color hairspray
  3. wigs
  4. masks

You can also get inspiration from their favorite scary movies.

Cozy Comfort Ideas

What college kid wouldn’t love something cozy near the end of fall semester? Halloween is a perfect opportunity to send:

  1. fuzzy slippers for her
  2. a warm throw blanket
  3. fun socks for him
  4. gift cards for Starbucks in a black cat coffee mug

Study Supplies

Halloween is a fun time for college students, but they still need to focus on their classes and assignments. Include some school supplies in your care packages to help them stay on track. You could send things like:

  1. highlighters
  2. pens
  3. notecards
  4. post-it notes

No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating Items

Carving pumpkins is fun, but not always easy to do when you’re away at college. Students can almost always get their hands on a pumpkin, so they’ll be thrilled with anything that helps them decorate it.

Here are a few creative ideas:

  1. gauze or cheesecloth along with some extra-large googly eyes to make a mummy pumpkin.
  2. washi tape and ribbon for something pretty
  3. this set of 8 pumpkin face decals would give your college kid a fun way to connect with friends or roommates.
Pumpkin Face Decals Pumpkin Face Decals

Add some Halloween fun to college without the mess of carving pumpkins. Get a set of 8 face decals to decorate pumpkins.

Choose from 18 different colors and several sizes.

Personal Care Items

The small things are sometimes the best gifts to help you finish up a care package. College kids can always use small items like:

  1. hand sanitizer
  2. deodorant
  3. toothbrushes
  4. toothpaste
  5. shampoo
  6. body wash
  7. Burt’s Bees fall-themed lip balm
  8. pimple patches
  9. silicone body scrubber
  10. Poo-Pourri toilet spray

My husband was a Resident Director in a men’s residence hall for the first 5 years of our marriage. Believe me, your kids need you to send hygiene products. Their roommates will thank you.

Adding Personal Touches

Incorporating a personal touch is the key to all great gifts. Here are a few college care package ideas to make it extra special:

38. Handwritten Notes

Taking a few minutes to write a personal note is always a good idea. Write something encouraging or share a funny memory to brighten their day. The more specific, the better.

I always keep these flat notecards and envelopes on hand. I love the colors and the simplicity of a flat card (rather than one that folds). Having a small space to write feels less intimidating, so I also send more cards than I would otherwise.

Single Panel Note Cards with Envelopes Single Panel Note Cards with Envelopes

Send a handwritten note in their school colors or seasonal shades. You get 160 sets of blank notecards and envelopes in 16 vibrant different colors.

39. Custom Stickers

College students love putting stickers on their laptops and water bottles. Add a custom sticker to your care package for a small but thoughtful gift. Some of our favorites are personalized pet stickers or custom college stickers (for any school).

Hand Drawn Custom Pet Sticker Hand Drawn Custom Pet Sticker
College kids love their family pets and miss them like crazy. Send some love their way with these personalized pet stickers.
Custom College Stickers Custom College Stickers

Custom stickers are a favorite for college students. You can customize these with the name of any college.

40. Photos

Because most of our pictures live on our phones, printing a favorite photo is an extra special touch. It’s also a great way to make your student feel more connected to home.

Print out some photos of family members, best friends from high school, family pets or favorite vacation spots. Pictures of past Halloween costumes and celebrations would be another great option.

41. Care Package Stickers

Of all our Halloween care package ideas, this one might be my favorite because sticker paper transforms any box into a gift box for your college kid. These box stickers are designed to fit the large USPS flat rate boxes.

Care Package Sticker Kit Care Package Sticker Kit

These stickers are the perfect finishing touch for any care package! Choose from several different Halloween designs.

Key Takeaways

Sending a Halloween care package is a fun and festive way surprise and encourage your favorite college student. Remember the 5 C’s of college care packages and have fun putting your themed care package together.

  1. Convenience
  2. Comfort
  3. Connection
  4. Creativity
  5. Customized

We hope your college student has a happy Halloween!

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