11 Cute and Creative First Day of School Picture Ideas

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Taking photos of your kid on the first day of school is a time-honored mom tradition. I still love looking back on my own first day of school pics, even when I was at peak awkward stage, in my plaid uniform jumper beside my brothers.

While so much of our generation’s childhood was captured in one camera shot, our children are now subjected to SO many moments we want to save (thank you, smartphones!). Curating all of our kid’s childhood photos can be a job in and of itself—but that’s a post for another day. Today, we’ve rounded up some simple ideas to creatively capture your child’s first day of school.

We’re certainly not suggesting you do all of these, lest your kid is frowning once they actually arrive at school, but hopefully, they spark an idea or two. And you’ll have a few (or a few hundred) memories to look back on and smile—or laugh.

We’ve rounded up 10+ ways to get creative with photos this year—scroll down to see and shop some of our favorite props for the perfect pic!


1. With a Letter Board or a Sign

first day of school picture ideas

Source: @ojuspatel


Felt Letter Board

Want to fit more words on a bigger sign? Try this 12x17" version.

10+ colors available

back to school pictures
Etsy | PeachBloomCreations

First Day of School Dry Erase Board

The perfect option to use year after year.

multiple fonts & styles available

back to school sign
Etsy | Bloom Owl

First Day of School Chalkboard

An actual chalkboard (not a printable) that can be customized with your child's name and updated with chalk or chalk pens each year.

back to school sign
Etsy | Mr C Wood Products

First Day of School Rustic Sign

Perfect to use with more than one child, this option is minimalist and cute.


2. With Celebratory Balloons

first day of school picture ideas

Source: @mama.jots

back to school balloon
Etsy | Trace Paper Pen

Hello School Balloon

What kid doesn't love a balloon? Options available from preschool through senior year of high school.

apple balloon
Oriental Trading Company

Mylar Apple Balloon

Have this apple blown up with helium at the grocery store so you'll be all set for first day of school pics!


3. With Their Sibling(s)

kids first day of school

Source: @jlgarvin


4. With Their Homeschooling Set-Up


5. With Their Picture From Last Year

first day of school picture ideas

Source: How Does She


6. With a Festive Flag

back to school sign
Etsy | Ting Stationary

First Day of School Flag

Add ribbon to this black and white pennant for a little flair.

Printable version also available here.

back to school
The Letterman Co

First and Last Day School Pennant

A retro pennant you can use year after year.

Etsy | Bloom and Grow Co

First Day of School Flag

If you'd rather the sign be pre-made, ribbon and all, this adorable sign can be customized with colors and stars.

Printable version also available here.

back to school sign
The Letterman Co

School Grade Pennant

Another adorable felt pennant available in multiple colors.

Buy on its own or grab a full set through 5th grade so you'll be set year after year.

back to school photo
Etsy | Happy Day Play

School Printable Flags

Cute downloadable pencil-themed flags cover daycare through 6th grade, so you'll be set year after year.


7. With a High School Graduation T-Shirt

That they’ll grow into a bit more each year!

Etsy | MaleyDesigns

Class of 2035 Grow With Me Shirt

Decide whether you want them to grow into the shirt each year or choose a size they can wear right now, while keeping track of their growth with annual hand prints on the back!

sizes 2T - Adult XXXL

multiple colors available

Etsy | Mamm Clothing

Graduation Class Personalized Shirt

A T-shirt they can grow into. Comes in adult sizes XS - 2XL.

multiple colors available


8. With Sidewalk Chalk

sidewalk chalk

Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk

Write your little one's grade or a celebratory sign on the driveway, sidewalk, or stairs to celebrate the day!

30% off at Target right now!


9. With Fun Props

pencil garland
Etsy | Glitter Party Co

First Day of School Pencil Banner

We love a banner, and this pencil version with pink felt balls is too cute! Use as a photo background year after year.

Etsy | Glitter Party Co

Letter Garland

Use this cute garland for school pictures, and add it as decor to your playroom after!


First Day of School Decorations

Create your own photo booth by adding a few school-themed props.


10. With Their New School Gear


11. With Mom (or Dad!)

Because we know it’s a rare moment when mom gets in the picture.

This article was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for timeliness. 

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