If this is the year you are packing up your kids to head to college, you know it is going to be hard on both of you. As excited as your kids may be, deep down, they are going to be missing the comforts of home.

So, if you are looking for some back to school ideas, or a college student gift idea here are just a few to help your kids with the transition from home to the dorm.


Most students will not survive college without a laptop and a printer at least. So, hopefully there is enough money to help them get started with this. An extra could be an iPod or video games. Plus a cell phone, may be the only way to stay in touch other than email, so you can prepay the cell phone for them, but with strict instructions on air time and texting rules.


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Snack Bag

Fill a insulated cooler bag (which will then be reused for "beverages" after) and fill it with all kinds of snacks you know your kids love. Ones that don't need refrigeration such as chips, pretzels, mixed nuts and more. These are great college student gift ideas, as these can get very expensive from vending machines.

Coffee Shop

Find out the coffee shop in the area, or in the college, and see about getting a gift card that your student can use. You can reload most of them online now, and you can see the balance. It doesn't always mean the big ticket items, many of the smaller items can cost, and add up big time.

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Alarm Clock

Most kids don't think to wear a watch, or they depend on their cell phone to wake them up, which doesn't always work that well. A good basic clock for the room, with the added feature of an alarm will help any student.

Gym Membership

Many colleges have a gym that you can be a member of. If not, find one close to the college. It is good for your kids to work out. With all the added snacks and drinking that will go on, a gym membership will be a great gift idea to help keep them fit and keep any weight gain to a minimum..

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Digital Frame

Spend the summer taking digital pictures of the family and events, and of everyday things, and don't forget the pets!. Plus get your kids friends to take pictures as well. Then load these pictures onto a memory stick, and then purchase a digital frame and all they have to do is plug in the memory stick, and they will have loads of pictures of home.

Back to School Bulletin Boards

You can't be without a bulletin board. Either purchase one or make one for your student and give them loads of pins for the bulletin board. This way they can keep their schedules and any important information right in front of their face on the wall.

Post It Notes

This may seem like the cheapest gift. But I know many students who had these stuck to everything in their room for reminders!

These ideas, don't have to cost very much. You can create a basket of supplies for them such as pens, pencils post it notes etc..

Most students are going to be on a budget, and any of these smaller items can add up and eat into their school money. So, can include everyday items such as the ones above.

You could create a hamper filled with the smaller things they will miss from home too.  Food items, favourite snacks, movies and more.  Gift certificates for online or local stores can help make the transition easier especially if they don't have the room to pack.