My oldest is off at camp this week — wahh! — and we’re missing him badly. So, we’re sending snacks. Because food is our love language. While not all camps allow food to be sent to campers in care packages (be sure to check with them before sending!) ours does, so I’ve been looking for some creative ways to send food care packages to my camper, to make his special delivery a little more fun than basically opening a bag of groceries.

And I’ve found some great ones.

Pro tip: Stay away from lots of melty chocolate (except when it comes to s’mores, of course.). Think instead of shelf-stable treats: candy like licorice or hard candies, beef jerky, mints, popcorn, individual powdered drink mix packets, cookies, granola mix (homemade or store-bought), sunflower seeds, protein bars, marshmallows and so on.

In fact, if you’ve got a favorite food items to send kids at camp, let me know in the comments below. We camp parents would love your ideas!

Related: 5 smart custom food allergy labels to order before your kid heads to camp

Creative food care packages for summer camp: So many fun ideas!

Creative camp care packages: DIY S'mores kits at Club Crafted

Put togetherDIY s’mores kits

Send individual mini s’mores kits to your campers by using this fun printable s’mores kit label from Club Crafted. They may not be able to roast them over a fire, but we think they’re a classic camp snack either way.

Of course you can alway package together a big bag marshmallows, graham crackers and enough chocolate for the bunk — extra-long wooden s’mores skewers optional. Liz’s parents send this creative summer food care package to the grandkids at camp each summer and it’s a huge hit!

Creative camp care packages: DIY Checkers board with Oreos for pieces at Home Steady

Make a game of your food care package

What, you don’t see any food in this photo? I see an opportunity to use Classic and Golden Oreos as checker pieces with this DIY edible checkers board, thanks to a tutorial I found at The Home Steady. It’s a fantastic way to help your kid pass their free time at camp, plus when you capture your opponent’s piece, you can eat it! Psst…Nilla Wafers and chocolate cookie wafers work great too.

Related: Sleepaway Camp: The pros, the cons, and the tears. You can do get through it!

Creative camp care packages: A pill box with treats once a day at Dating Divas

Make it bite-sized

Send your kids a tiny treat each day in a small pillbox, with the directive to only open one compartment per day. I saw this idea at The Dating Divas, and love the way PureWow adapted it as a creative food care package idea for summer camp. So clever. But again, be careful about those melty chocolates; you’re probably safer with Skittles over M&Ms.

Creative camp care packages: Go with a theme, like this all-yellow Box of Sunshine at Fantabulosity

Work with a color theme

If your child is crazy for pink, purple, or turquoise, try packaging a food care package for summer camp with a color theme. At Fantabulosity, she offers tons of cute ways to put together a bright yellow “box of sunshine” care package which is perfect for any camper.

I also love the photo above (I can’t find the original source so if it’s yours please let us know!) which indicates how to decorate the flaps of the package with cute drawings — one from younger siblings would be sweet — and thoughts like 5 things about you that brighten our day. When your child opens it at summer camp, it’s just a big burst of happy.


Creative camp care packages: Brighten Your Day mug from Crazy Little Projects

Make the packaging part of the gift

Instead of a cardboardbox packed with goodies, fill a plastic mug or big reusable travel tumbler with candy, mints, powdered drink packets, you name it. Also be sure to include this cute “brighten your day” free printable from Crazy Little Projects. The cup will help protect the food items in the mail, and kids will get plenty of use refilling it through their entire stay.