Make it a Smarty Pants Countdown to the New School Year

This cool and creative, get kids excited about school smarty pants idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott.

“The school year is coming, folks, so let’s get our kids–and ourselves!–psyched.”

Before we know it, big yellow buses will be zipping around every corner, shiny new school backpacks and lunchboxes will be bought, and those happy school bells will be a ringin’.

Let’s get them excited for the new school year with a little help from Smarty Pants. A Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown will get brains moving and creative juices flowing.

back to school smarty pants countdown

My kids have been long fans of the countdown, so when I heard the millionth “I love summer. I never want school to start again,” come from the mouth of one of my three, I knew we had to do something to up the fun factor of the quickly-approaching school year.

All you need for a quick and easy Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown are:


Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown supplies

Creating the countdown is super-simple.

1.  First, grab a Smarty Pants set for each child heading back to school.

I have a Smarty Pants First Grade set, Second Grade Set, and Fourth Grade Set for my three kiddos.

Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown labels

2.  Print the Back-to-School Countdown Labels.  Again, the Back-to-School Countdown Labels can be downloaded and printed here.

3.  Gather ten envelopes for each child. Affix a label on each envelope.

Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown

Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown

Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown

4.  Choose one Smarty Pants card from the set and put one in each envelope and seal the envelope. (Kids love opening envelopes!)

5.  Clearly distinguish each child’s set, either by writing his or her name on the envelope or by stamping his or her initials. I simply stamped an M, O, and C in the upper left-hand corner of each of my kids’ sets.

6.  Arrange the envelopes in countdown order (10-1), and finally put all ten envelopes in a larger envelope so that they’re easy for kids to grab!


Back-to-School Smarty Pants Countdown


smarty pants back to school countdown

Put the envelopes in a place where the kids can easily grab them each morning, and then let the fun begin!

Each Smarty Pants card features a fun fact, cool piece of trivia, a brain teaser, or some challenge that will get kids’ wheels turning. Tongue twisters, math problems, puzzles, and silly drawings are engaging and inviting for kids.

My hope is that the 10-day Smarty Pants countdown to school will not only get kids excited for the big day, but it will also get them hooked on the learning adventure ahead!

back to school countdown

back to school countdown


Looking for more back-to-school information?

Stop by and follow these great educational Pinterest boards:


amy mascott teachmama.comHang with Amy over at for more cool, super-sneaky ways to throw in some learning in the name of fun or join her at we teach–a forum for parents and teachers to connect, share ideas and grow–no matter the classroom. Or tweet with her (@teachmama), pin with her or chat with her on Facebook!

This post was created for our Summer Fun Calendar series. Click for more info.

See all Blog Ambassador posts by Amy →

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