If your kids are headed to camp this summer, sending them a cool summer camp care package will make their day. Or week. Even if they didn’t even look back to wave when you dropped them off. We’ve got a whole bunch of fun ideas for care package goodies that, according to our own kids, will make yours proclaim you the best parent in the world to all of his or her bunkmates. Short of sending a life’s supply of candy.
Just be sure to check with your camp before sending one out–they all have different care package rules, especially when it comes to food, or making sure there are enough goodies for every child in the bunk.
Care Package Gifts to Preserve the Memories
After a few nights of s’mores and pillow fights, it’s easy for kids to forget all the little things they’ve done while away at camp. Sending them a nice new personalized camp journal like this one from Boland Paper Design Co on Etsy, will give them a place to write down their favorite summer memories, even if they aren’t willing to share them all with you. You can even customize it to match the camp colors.
Kids may also want to capture snapshots of their new friends, so consider packaging an inexpensive waterproof single-use camera with something useful but fun, like a new pair of flip-flops.
Encourage kids to write down or sketch pictures of all the cool things they see–and not tuck them away in pockets for you to discover in August–with this trail notes book from Minted. You can choose from three different color schemes and even pick either lined or unlined paper inside.
For younger campers, the cover on eeboo’s bright and sweetly illustrated Life on Earth sketchbook cover will encourage them to make an illustrated journal of all they see on those nature hikes.
Camp Care Package Ideas: Rainy Day Activities
A rainy day at camp can become a lot brighter with some fun craft projects to do with friends, like making personalized name bracelets using rainbow loom supplies. We have tons of ideas for rainbow loom bracelet ideas. Just be sure to send a bunch of new rubber bands and alphabet beads, along with a loom if they didn’t pack it.
Some nice, new sharpened colored pencils and drawing paper will give kids with an artistic side something to do while hiding from the raindrops. And how much fun is this crafty camp care package at Giver’s Log, holding art supplies inside a clear water bottle. It’s bound to be one of the coolest pieces of mail passed out in the bunk. (link to website is now defunct)
You’ll definitely be the cool parent if you include a set of Tattly non-toxic tattoos for the kids to decorate their bug bites one rainy afternoon. I love the mix of tattoos in this set, from robots to toothy monsters to an authentic-looking skull and crossbones, but there are tons of other designs to chose from if your kids would prefer their tattoos to be a little sweeter.
Ranging from silly to thought-provoking, The Bog Girls’ Camp Bunk Box of Questions is a great icebreaker for a new group of friends. The 42 question cards will keep the entire cabin talking way past “lights out.” If that’s okay.
Sometimes a good book is the best way to deal with a rainy day, and we still love the suggestions from our own writers in our post about our children’s favorite books for ages 2-12. There are great choices for both girls and boys, from humor to fantasy.
Camp Care Package Ideas: Health and Hygiene Help (Hey, we can’t help it, we’re moms)
Kids who are away for a few weeks will (hopefully) be using up their bug spray to keep the mosquitoes away, so send along some refills like Burt’s Bees’ Natural Herbal Insect Repellent, along with some Res-Q Ointment for any bites, burns, or scrapes they may get.
With no time for haircuts (or, quite possibly, showers), help your girls keep their loose tresses out of their eyes with some pretty hair accessories and ponytail holders, like this adorable camera from Adelaide NYC.
And if you are worried that laundry may be very, very low on their list of “things to do,” send along some fresh undergarments like the adorably bright custom camp-themed underwear from Likewear, or some super fun socks from Sock-It-To-Me for both boys and girls.
Think your son may be wearing that same favorite tee over and over? Add a few more to the rotation, like these soft, colorful graphic tees from CMP favorite Red 21. All of their tees are marked down to $15, which is a lot less than driving up to camp and doing his laundry (and psst, they have plenty of styles that my tee-shirt-wearing girls would like too.)
Camp Care Package Ideas: Did Anyone Say Snacks?
We’ve never met a camper who doesn’t want to receive treats from home, but it’s always best to check the rules for your particular summer camp; some do not allow food to be sent at all, others restrict foods containing any of the primary allergens, and still others may require that you send enough treats for the entire bunk to share. Check out our many roundups of lunchbox snacks which often have allergy-friendly choices, and come in nice, neat single-serve packaging, like this box of granola bars from 18 Rabbits.
The Sweet Shop NYC is like a modern Willie Wonka factory with all kinds of goodies that you might not normally indulge the kids with at home, including retro candies like Pop Rocks, wax mustaches (remember those?) and Razzles. Contact the shop and they can put together something custom just for you. It’s the perfect guilt gift. You know what I’m talking about.
For special treats, we love Fancypants Bakery‘s delicious, hand-decorated sugar cookies which are made in a peanut-free facility and come in loads of designs for boys and girls. And if you need to be even more cautious as far as food allergies, check out Cookies for Me which may be gluten-free, egg-free, and nut-free, but still truly delicious.
Forgive the pun, but they really will yell Whoopie! if you send them a case of yummy whoopie pies from Maine’s Wicked Whoopies, with flavors like strawberry, chocolate chip, and chocolate-chocolate. Or stick to the traditional, shown above. You can’t go wrong–as long as they eat them right away. This is not the kind of thing you want a kid stashing under his pillow for another day.