Tips for Parents
5 Fall Care Package Items to Send Your Student
By: Elizabeth Hilfrank, Uloop
Now in the full swing of fall, it’s the time of the school year when students are starting to hit the mid-semester. To help them conquer this hurdle, here are some ideas for items you can send them that will remind them of home and get them through until Thanksgiving.
It may seem trivial, but candy can be a huge help during the fall slump. Not only is it a sugary pick-me-up, but it is also a sweet reminder of simpler times at home. When I am dealing with mid-terms, I often think back to when my Halloween was filled with classroom parties. Now, instead of having a party in class, your student can eat the candy while he is stressed studying for the test he has in class on Halloween. Additionally, your student no longer trick-or-treats, but that does not mean he does not deserve a treat! Chances are, he or she will be dressing up at some point during the Halloween season, so he still deserves the prize.
This one may seem odd, but my Mom always sends me fall-themed socks during October. I love this because it has become a tradition. As a child, I always had themed socks, so it brings everything full-circle. You can send silly ones (my Mom just brought me gray socks covered in ghosts) or you can send warm, wooly socks for those chilly fall mornings. Either way, your student will feel a little better pulling those on his or her feet in the morning.
If you tend to decorate your own home for the fall, then consider sending your student some similar decorations appropriate for a dorm room. For example, if you put scarecrows in the front yard, send your student a small stuffed-animal version. You could also send a wooden, painted one.
Speaking of paintings, wooden signs with fall sayings are always a good idea. These, that you can make yourself or buy from any craft store or Home Goods, almost always have friendly or humorous sayings that will make your student feel more at home.
Fall or Halloween colored lights can also be fun for your student to change things up from the typical white holiday lights. You could send him or her a candy bowl for the candy you send or any type of dishware too. Consider also a fall wreath or welcome mat for the entranceway. Some people on my first-year floor had them sent to them, and they were big hits. Mini pumpkins are always popular. They are such a classic sign of fall, and, if your student is unable to go pumpkin picking this season, they serve as a great alternative. A friend of mine actually just received a pumpkin as a present, and it made her day.
You will have to check on these before sending because some schools have restrictions, but candles serve as great reminders of home. If you can’t make apple crisp for your son or daughter this season, why not send him or her something that smells like it? It’s not the same, but it’s something! If apple crisp isn’t your go-to, fall dessert, then maybe pumpkin pie is for your student. There are also a wide variety of scents that smell like “outdoor fall” in case you are not a foodie. If your student’s school prohibits candles, you can look into scent diffusers or air fresheners as well.
I saved the easiest one for last. Photos are the perfect fall reminder of home that will be sure to put a smile on your student’s face. Just last week my mom sent me one that her friend sent her of our old neighborhood. It was so cute, and I loved looking at everyone so much younger. Then, the next day, my friend’s mom sent her an old picture from a fall event we used to go to in elementary school, and she forwarded it to me. It brought up conversations between someone I hadn’t spoken to in a while, and it was so nice to reminisce.
I have found that students also love to share old photos with each other, so sending them will even help your students spark conversation. What’s best about this gift is that it is free! You can even just send a photo as a text, and that is enough to brighten your student’s day.
These are just a few ideas that can help spark your care package ideas. Even though we may not use it too much, trust me when I say that students love snail mail and especially packages. Of course, everyone celebrates the seasons a little differently, but sometimes a little nostalgia can go a long way, so send your student your home packed up in a neat little box, and make their day (and you the best parent ever!).
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