Romantic Care Package Ideas for Military Spouses to Send to Soldiers Overseas
Militiary Care Package Food
They are all starving and want food. The ketchup in Iraq is orange and the MRE's are gross! But you have a budget and there are mail restrictions. Next time you are at the grocery store keep an eye out for food that doesn't spoil and is not heavy. Here are some food suggestions
- Powdered Gatorade/ Kool Aide. (Including a bottle or other container to mix them in is great if you have the space.)
- As a lighter alternative to sending coffee, send flavored creamer so he can jazz up the coffee s/he already has. You can also send tea bags or cocoa powder.
- Candy: anything that won't melt! Consider the heat when sending chocolate or other "melty" stuff!
- Gum or mints.
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Fruit cups or pudding with pop off lids. Send plastic silverware!
- Chips or snack mixes. (Single serving packaging is best for freshness.)
- Beef Jerky
- Crackers and peanut butter/ spray cheese or another topping.
- Packets of instant oatmeal or dry cereal.
- Microwave items such as popcorn, macaroni and cheese, Top Ramen or Cup of Noodles.
Military Care Package Entertainment Items
Message from overseas: We're so bored. Send help! What should you send?
- Travel sized board games or crossword puzzle books.
- Occasionally send letters in audio or video format.
- Nerf balls are light and will get a lot of use.
- Think party favors: Silly things like squirt guns or play dough or slime.
- A deck of cards or his/her favorite card game.
- Electronic games are foolproof, but if you cannot afford a DS you can pick up a "Bop-it" for $20 and they are super fun! They can also be used to play with a group.
- For an avid reader send small paperback books that they can give away when they are done. Maybe even look into the purchase of an e-reader so s/he can read magazines and books on demand.
- Consider a hulu (or similar) subscription so s/he can watch American television on their laptop/ipad/ipod. Only $7 per month.
- If he hasn't got one already, maybe an iPod with a preloaded iTunes gift card? If s/he doesn't have access to a computer you can upload the library on it before you send it.
- *If you are going to send electronics make sure to think about batteries or power charging adapters beforehand.
Sensible Military Care Package Items
Yes, it is boring and s/he is starving... but your spouse does not have all the comforts of home, either. Think of how you would go crazy without that moisturizer you like. Pay attention to complaints: Maybe the desert is drying out his/her skin so bad he would kill for some moisturizer? Quick, easy, and you will have a happy camper on your hands. Your spouse may have access to these things, but likely not the brands they like or prefer. Find out.
- His/her brand of body wash
- His/her favorite razors and shaving cream
- His/her Shampoo and Conditioner
- Favorite aftershave or lotion/ moisturizer
- Name brand deodorant
- The kind of laundry detergent you use at home. If that is too heavy or you use liquid, try sending just the scented dryer sheets.
- T-shirts, underwear and socks get lost, stained and worn out. You should probably send these items often.
- A big fluffy towel. Wash it at home first so it smells like home.
- Sunblock and eyedrops are both great items to have in the desert.
Sentimental or Romantic Military Care Package Ideas
They miss home, bring on the lovey-dovey super cheesy stuff! These are the kind of things that s/he will treasure and remember that you sent years after the return.
- Make a scrapbook or mini-scrapbook. Get a few supplies and go crazy! Do a theme book- "a day in our life" where you take pictures all in one day for the book. You can do the same for special events, or anything else you can think of.
- Send a few steamy letters. You can search online for inspiration if you aren't a poet. You probably shouldn't if you are a man, though. If you are a man write her a cheesy love letter.
- Wives or girlfriends can send sexy panties. Just be sure to put them in an envelope marked "private" so he won't open them in a common area. Again, men probably shouldn't do this.
- If you use a particular scented lotion or if your perfume has a lotion that goes with it, put some in a travel lotion bottle so they'll always be able to have your smell close. Sending the actual perfume is not a good idea since it is liquid. If there is no lotion you can spray the perfume on a clothing item or something else in the package.
- If you're sending a paperback book you can read it first and make notes in the margins so you can "talk" about what you read. You can also drop notes in between the pages.
Military Care Package Ideas for Kids
It is important to remember that your children are dealing with a separation, too. We send care packages in part to make ourselves feel better and to feel closer to our loved one. Don't forget to let the kids have input or brainstorm ideas so they can be included. They will probably come up with some pretty creative stuff. If they are older you can go as far as allowing them to make their own care package for mom or dad.
- Take video of the kids playing at the park, any school activities or just sitting down to record a personal message.
- Use a kit to create an imprint of a new baby's foot or hand. This is especially meaningful if the baby was born while he was away and they have not met.
- Get some computer printer magnetic paper. Let the kids paint it. The picture will last longer than paper and will be easy to display on a metal rack or locker.
- Let them design a clothing item with a service like zazzle or allow the kids to paint a shirt.
- You can also purchase a craft store bear (or other stuffed animal) and allow the kids to decorate it.
- Have the the kids fill a small jar with sand or dirt from home. They can make a decorative label for it and add shells, beads or other items that have symbolic meaning. This can serve as a "little piece of home" for the deployed.
- If they're gone over their birthday, send a birthday box with streamers, hats, noise makers, a birthday card, and a birthday cookie decorated with icing. Record yourself and the kids singing Happy Birthday. Make a "virtual party in a box". This can be applied to almost any holiday as well.
- Have the kids draw a picture or write a story every day. Have them bound into a book. It is awesome to do this if you know s/he will be gone for a special holiday. You can theme it if you start early:
- Valentine's Day: "1 Reason I love/miss my mommy/daddy" today.
- St. Patricks Day: "I am lucky to have my mommy/daddy because..."
- Mother's Day/Father's Day: "I love my mommy/daddy because..."
- Memorial/ Independence Day: "My mom/dad is a soldier/Marine (etc.) because..."
- Thanksgiving: "1 Thing I am Thankful For" per day
- Christmas: "If I spent today with my mom/dad we would ____."
- Birthday: "If I was with my mom/dad for his/her birthday I/we would_____."
- Come up with your own, especially if you want to celebrate your heritage, ethnicity or have some other day that is meaningful to your family.