a peek inside the fishbowl

16 Nov, 2017

A peek inside a care package for our university student

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Oh! Things!|parenting

Speaking of gifts… did your parents send you care packages while you were away at college or university?

In my post about life with one less kid around the house I mentioned that I have found a tiny bit solace in sending care packages to the eldest while she’s away at university. I thought it might be fun to show what my most recent mailout contained.

University care package ideas Canada

What’s inside this care package!

  • A small package of freezies that I picked up on super sale (50 cents, I think!) at the grocery store. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean it won’t be appreciated.
  • An enamel pin from Mrs. Tiggy Winkles. The cat is drinking bubble tea, a favourite treat around here.
  • Itsy Bitsy stickers! They are also from Mrs. Tiggy Winkles. They are tiny and adorable.
  • A Click Clack koala pen I purchased at The Village Quire here in Westboro. You pull down one ear for one ink colour, the other ear for a second colour.
  • Reusable handwarmer, which I also bought at The Village Quire. Perfect for pockets!
  • Vitamin D…. because I’m a mom.
  • Gum and Tic-Tacs.

I stuffed everything in a small cereal box. Luckily for me, a friend was visiting her daughter at Queen’s and saved me the shipping.

I don’t buy all of these things at once. The easiest thing to do is to buy things here and there while I’m out and about and collect them in a box until I’ve got enough to send. Some of the things – like the freezies and the candy – are items I’ve found in clearance bins in the grocery store.

Other things I’ve sent along in past packages:

I always include a card with a short note too.

I have a loose list of the things I am thinking about sending in future care packages: Tylenol, clean (new!) underwear, hair elastics, magazines, a new sewing kit, bandaids, hot chocolate packages, popcorn, homemade cookies. Any other ideas out there? I’d love to hear them! What would YOU like to receive in a package from home?


7 Responses to "A peek inside a care package for our university student"

1 | Alison in Ottawa

November 17th, 2017 at 7:17 am


Another pair of ear phones. My daughter can never keep track of them.

2 | andrea tomkins

November 17th, 2017 at 7:50 am


Ooh! Good one Alison! A good (long!) phone charge cord could be welcome as well.

3 | joy

November 17th, 2017 at 2:47 pm


cute and fun – I would love to receive things like this! How about notebooks, magazines, post-it notes, seasonal treats, lip balms, gift cards for fave restaurant/coffee shop…

4 | andrea tomkins

November 17th, 2017 at 3:45 pm


Great ideas Joy! Especially the POST-its! They’re actually an expensive purchase for a student, so they’d make a nice addition to a care package.

5 | SJM

November 18th, 2017 at 5:01 pm


My father sent epic care packages when I was at Uni – one per term. It included a 6 pack of beer and lots of food. This was when postage was much cheaper! I also had a cousin near by who regularly took me to an upscale Italian grocery and bought me fresh pasta, sauce, etc – Once I was living off campus. Fun memories!

6 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive University student care package #2! - a peek inside the fishbowl

December 1st, 2017 at 4:40 pm


[…] sent a second care package to our university student earlier this week. (Here’s the first one, in case you’re […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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