Summer is here. For some families, it means spending a lot of time together. For others, it means the kids get to go to camp for a week or two or they’ll be spending several weeks with their grandparents. Wherever they’re going, no doubt you’ll be on their minds. Send them a reminder that you love them. One old-fashioned idea that’s making a comeback is the care package. You can gather together some fun and favorite things for them and send it in a package so that it arrives in the middle of their visit. You don’t need to put a lot in it, it just needs to have something fun, something practical and something edible. Anything else is a bonus.
What You’ll Need
• A little brown box or shoebox
• Leftover packing paper or newspaper
• Packing tape
• Something fun
• Something practical
• Something edible
• A note
• A printed shipping label or an indelible ink marker
• A scale
Pick up some basic shipping and office supplies from the discount store. Gather some leftover newspaper or some recyclables that you can use for padding. If you’re looking for something fun to pack, pick up some inexpensive party favors or a deck of cards at the discount store. If they’re at the beach or near a pool, send some sunglasses, a bucket and a pail. Toss in a bag of candy, some granola bars or their favorite snacks. For something practical, include a pair of socks, a bandanna or something that got left behind. The most important thing is to write a note wishing them well.
Things to Avoid
Steer clear of anything that will leak, melt or break. If you’re unsure about how well it will travel, consider putting the item in a re-sealable plastic bag. Don’t pack anything perishable or that could spoil in excessive heat during transit.
Putting it Together
Gather the items and wrap some of them in leftover wrapping paper so your care package will be more fun to open. Cover the bottom of the box in packing material, then add in the items. It’s a bit like a puzzle, so move things around a bit until everything fits. Add packing paper where it’s needed.
Before You Send the Care Package
When it’s boxed up, use your packing tape to carefully seal the package. Add the label and send it off. The least expensive method is usually 4th Class with the U.S. postal service. Weigh it at home to calculate postage. You can arrange pick-up online and print out the shipping label as well.
If you don’t have a print-free box, you can mark out minor graphics or cover it over. Use a leftover brown bag from the grocery store. Turn it inside-out to cover the box.
Remember, a care package doesn’t have to be fancy or cost a lot. It’s just a reminder to your kids that someone loves them and is thinking about them. Plus, it’s always fun for kids to get mail, especially when it’s a surprise.
Nikki is an independent writer for DollarTree.com. Dollar Tree offers great deals on office supplies, party supplies and more.