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Cute First Day of School Picture Ideas to Take This Year


Our kids are growing up! They’re another year older and ready to start the next grade. While some families are sad that summer is over, others are ready for their kids to return to school. We remember how special that first day of school was when we were kids. We want it to be just as special for our kiddos, and one way to do that is to take a fun first day of school picture.

It’s normal for parents to want to memorialize this moment of our kids going back to school. It’s a moment in time that we want to look back at and see how much they have grown year after year. There are so many great ideas to take a cute first day of school picture. You can choose the same theme every year or try something different! We’ve rounded up a list of all the best back-to-school photo ideas for you to make your child’s first day of school photo picture perfect.

Cute First Day of School Picture Ideas

First, there are some things to consider to get your perfect first day of school picture:

  • What will my child wear?
  • Do I want my child to use a prop in the photos?
  • What is going to be in the background? (What location will I use?)
  • Will these photos be of just my child? Who else do I want in the pictures?

There are lots of options, so let’s break each down and share the best first day of school picture ideas for your child to take this year.

1. What to Wear?

Let your kid join in on the fun with this decision! The more they love what they wear, the more confident they will feel to conquer their first day of school. There’s so much to choose from — classic, trendy, or cool. You can see some of our favorite toddler back-to-school outfits in this post here.

2. Prop or No Prop?

I love a good prop. It brings out the theme of the photo and can make taking the picture more fun for your little model! Since the dawn of social media, the props have gotten more elaborate and impressive every year. Here are some great props to consider for your child’s first day of school picture:

Pennant Flags

Pennant flags are easy, lightweight, and so cute for your kid’s first day of school photo. I like how they show off what new grade level your little scholar is going to next. What’s great is that you can easily DIY your own by printing on some stock paper and then getting some items at your local craft store. If you’re not the crafty type, here are some great ones to consider for purchase:


girl in boots and star backpack walking to school
Image via Stocksy

Something every kid needs on their first day (and every day) of school is their backpack. This will carry their books, homework, projects, and memories for the whole school year. It’s a great prop to use in your child’s first day of school photo since often, kids pick out a new backpack for the school year.


Watching our children learn to read and enjoy books is such a joy. Books open a whole new world of learning, and they are something we love about school. Your child can hold or have a few on the side of some of their favorite books that they will read this school year. We find them to be a great prop!


There are tons of different chalkboard signs that you can do. You can get a blank chalkboard and write out your child’s name and grade, or you can write something cute and memorable!

These personalized chalkboard signs designed specifically for back-to-school have become really popular. These are great because you can change the information on them each year and reuse them. There are different sizes, styles, and fonts to choose from, so you can find the perfect one for your little one.

Here are some great choices if you are looking for a few options:


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

As some great leaders have said, education is the key to a brighter future. A cute idea to add in your child’s first day of school picture is a globe! This photographer did such a great job incorporating several prop items into one photo. We even have a great globe crafting project for you to make for their teacher as an appreciation gift.

If you’re looking for a globe to add to your photo, here are some great options:

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcolm X


Nothing says “school” more than a school desk. Many photographers host mini photography sessions for their clients to book “back to school” photos. If that’s not your style, consider getting a picture of your kid sitting at their desk in class. It will be their desk for the rest of the year, so it’s a great time to capture that moment to remember.

Large shirt of graduating year

We love the idea of ordering a larger graduation year shirt for your child and having them wear it each year on the first day of school. They can grow into it and place their handprint on the back. How cool will it be to see them from their first day of kindergarten to the first day of their senior year?! This tradition is too precious.

Here are some great options if you are looking for some graduating class shirts. Just remember to order a larger size!


It was an old tradition to bring your school teacher an apple to class as a token of appreciation. Apples are a popular school symbol, along with school books, notebooks, and pencils. We think this is a sweet prop idea to add to your first day of school picture.


We love balloons! They are a symbol of celebration, and going back to class is a day to celebrate! We also like how there are many ways that you can use balloons for your first day of school picture. You can write it on a balloon, get a large number that represents your little one’s grade they are entering, and more! Here are some ideas that you can use:

Letter Board

Letter boards are a classic prop because you can customize them to say whatever you want. You can write something sweet and simple or detailed and funny. We love them because you can use them for more moments than just the first day of school. They can even become part of your home decor! Some great letter boards are:


As you can see, there are lots of different signs and props that your child can hold to celebrate the start of the new school year. This pencil sign is super cute that can be reused every year. Here are some other great ideas that are perfect for the first day of school picture:

3. What’s in the Background?

When thinking of ideas for your kid’s first day of school picture, it’s important to be aware of what’s in the background of your photo. You don’t want it competing with your little star! Some spots that are perfect for your first day of school photos are:

In front of your house

A cute boy of African America ethnicity sits on the patio stairs at his family home. He is holding a small black sign that reads 'first day of kindergarten'. The boy is laughing and very excited. He is wearing a backpack and winter clothes.
Image via iStock

Before you leave your house, snap a photo of your child in front of your house before you take them to school or the bus stop. This is always a helpful idea because then you can leave all your great props at home. Another popular photo spot is in front of the garage door.

Sidewalk or road

Now, this is a fun idea. Make your prop your background! Get some sidewalk chalk and write or draw something special on your sidewalk or the road (make sure it’s not a busy road) for your child’s special day. Have them sit or lay down for a good flat lay shot!

School bus

Asian korean japanese chinese schoolboy pupil student going back to school after summer holidays lockdown quarantine holding books and copybooks standing at school yard near bus
Image via iStock

If your big kid rides the bus, we recommend snapping some shots of them waiting for the bus at their bus stop and a picture of them in front of the bus. That bright yellow bus is a fun way to bring a pop of color to your photo.

School sign or school marquee

If you prefer to drive your child to school on their first day, you can get some great photos of them standing in front of the school or by the school marquee. We thought this was such a cool idea to remember this big day. This will be an extra good idea if your child is starting at a new school. Maybe they are going to elementary, middle, or high school for the first time. Or perhaps you moved somewhere new. Taking a picture of their new school will be a fun memory to look back on.

Walking to school

Anonymous Mother walking together with her daughter, holding her hand as they go to school.
Image via iStock

If you live close by, other great photos to take are of your child walking to school. You can capture the emotions of excitement and anticipation as they near the entrance doors.

Sitting in class

A cute little girl of spanish descent works hard on her in class assignment. She is working in her math workbook and smiling at the camera.
Image via iStock

If you’re fortunate enough to go inside your child’s school and see their classroom, take a picture of your child in their class. Remembering what their class looked like and where your child sat is a fun memory to capture.

4. Who’s in the Photo?

A multi-ethnic group of seven children standing in a row in a school hallway, laughing and smiling at the camera. The little boys and girls are kindergarten or preschool age, 4 to 6 years.
Image via iStock

Obviously, your child will be in the photo, but maybe you have more than one child. Do you want a “siblings photo” of all of them together? Just individual separate photos? Maybe when your child gets to school, you want a photo of them and their friends together. Another great idea is getting a picture of your child with their teacher. Remembering the people in their lives is something your child will appreciate in the future. They’ll be able to look back, remember, and appreciate everything the school year offered.

With all these ideas, we know you will have a fantastic first day of school picture of your little ones. We can’t wait to see all of yours posted!

Friendly Reminder: If you plan on sharing your child’s first day of school pictures to the public on social media, it’s not recommended to share information that is too personal — like your child’s school name, teacher’s name, etc. Keep those photos for yourself and your family since you don’t want the wrong people to have this important info about your child and locate them. Have a happy and safe first day back at school!

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