3 Ways to Supercharge Your Back-to-School Countdown

Countdown calendar

Picture the excitement of counting down on New Year’s Eve. Now imagine that sense of anticipation applied to something some kids love and others dread: going back to school.

A back-to-school countdown turns the big day into an event. Plus, it’s satisfying when you reach the target date. Make the journey something kids will look forward to with these three school countdown calendars that are fun to create as a family.

Make it an advent-ure: An advent calendar isn’t just for Christmas. The word “advent” means the arrival of a notable person, thing or event—including the start of school. You can make a back-to-school advent calendar with basic supplies. Download full instructions on making your DIY advent calendar filled with school supplies here. We filled ours with a mix of school supplies like decks of blank flash cards backed with cardboard to keep the deck in good shape and fun treats like boxes of gum.

Instructions to make a back to school advent calendar here!
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Ring in an event: Make the first day of school look like a celebration by counting down with a paper chain. Cut strips of paper about 1 by 5 inches each. (Make sure to supervise any children using scissors.) Cut as many strips as you have days before the start of school. Glue, tape or staple the first ring together, then loop another strip of paper through the first ring; then close up the second ring. Continue for each subsequent ring. Once complete, hang up the paper chain and remove a ring each day until you have only one left. (There are many websites that show how to make a chain—we found an easy one here.)

Tear it up by counting down: Mark each day with a tear-a-page-a-day calendar. It’s customizable to any span of time you want to count down—if you’d like, you can even make a calendar for the whole school year. Start with a number of pages that’s equal to the days you’re counting down. (You can make it easy on yourself by choosing a standard paper size, such as 8.5 by 11 inches, so there’s no cutting involved.) Punch holes at the top of the pages and at the top of a piece of cardboard that’s the same size as the papers. Stack them together and loop twine through the holes to hold your calendar together.

If you're looking for more fun kid-friendly activities, take a look at these free printables specifically made for little minds.