Sleepaway camp can be a tough adjustment, for both campers and their parents. That’s why we have care packages. And the continued existence of snail mail. And while you can’t go wrong with a box of cookies, stationery and sunscreen, why not use the opportunity to get a little creative? Here, seven super-fun, totally unexpected care packages that will make your kid feel like the luckiest camper around.

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pill box care package idea

Fill a Pill Box with a Week of Surprises

You wish you could send your little guy a box filled with love for every day that he’s away, but those postage costs can add up quickly. Instead, fill a seven-day pillbox with sweet notes and bite-size treats.. For extra fun, put a few pieces of a small Lego set (like a deep-sea diver and an octopus) into each day’s container and by the end of camp, he’ll have a fully built toy.

diy doodle kit care pacakge idea

Encourage Creativity with a DIY Doodle Kit

Sending a creative project for downtime is great, but why not make it something the whole cabin can enjoy? Pull together permanent markers or fabric paint and some T-shirts, baseball caps or pillowcases. Then encourage your child and her pals to decorate together.

stuffies hidden candy care package idea
Stuffies

Break the Rules with Sneakily Hidden Sweets

Many camps frown upon bringing in outside snacks and candies, but sometimes rules are meant to be broken. Use a stuffed animal with secret compartments, like this adorable Stuffies pup, to smuggle sweet treats to your spy in training. Even if you’re not on board with sneaking contraband items, you can fill this guy with fun (and legal) gifts.

envelope chain care package idea

Do a Whole Week at Once

If your child is only going to camp for a few days or a week, it might take just as long for a letter to even reach her. Slip this envelope chain with little notes and knickknacks for every day of camp into her duffle bag before she leaves to guarantee she’ll have something special to open each day she’s away.

from your pets care package idea
Twenty20

Get Your Pets Involved

As much as your kids will undoubtedly miss you, they might just miss their furry friends even more (definitely more than their siblings, according to studies). Send a box from Fluffy and Fido with some silly animal-themed items, like claw foot slippers or a tennis ball to fetch, and slip in a note signed with a paw print.

valentine s surprise ball screen shot

Wrap (and Wrap and Wrap) Goodies Up in a Surprise Ball

Half the joy of getting a care package is the excitement of unwrapping your mystery box. Keep the fun going with a DIY paper streamer ball filled with candies and toys hidden within its folds.

carboard rocketship care package idea1

Go Meta with a Nifty Project

Rather send a typical box filled with snacks, Mad Libs and the usual camp things? Here’s a fun little twist: Include instructions on how your child and his pals can transform the cardboard box itself into a rocket ship or helicopter, with stickers or construction paper shapes for decorating. Then get back to enjoying your child-free summer.

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