• Dragon Mama

Back to School Photo Ideas

Updated: Aug 6

I like to do a little something different each year for back to school photos, but who has time to do something elaborate? Not me. Especially not with all the other things that have to happen before school starts. (For a handy back to school checklist, read here.) But, there are so many unique ways to set up for these treasured pictures that don't take a lot of time or money.


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Last year, I just strung up a back to school banner and taped up some cut-outs on the window. My mom also made the kids some cupcakes that looked like apples. (Pics below.) And, of course we used a "first day" board. BTW, I got those shirts from The Children's Place. Since we were doing distance learning, they didn't have to wear uniforms. This year, I have two different idea that each cost me less than $10 respectively!


Last Year's Photos


This Year's Set-Ups.


This year I decided to use some school related items we already have. In our new house, we have two fireplace mantels, so I thought one definitely needs to change with the holidays and special occasions. Thus, here we have, the back to school mantel. The only thing I purchased was the apple banner!


On the first day of school my kids will stand proudly in front of the mantel as I ask them to change from their fake smiles to real ones, while they complain their cheeks hurt.



This is set up for my son who will soon start Kindergarten, but it can be adjusted for elementary kids of any age. For older students, you could use graph paper, a scientific calculator, dictionary, thesaurus, literature etc. You probably have all the things you need at your fingertips. If there is something specific from the picture you would like, I've included a list of the items below. To purchase it (or something similar) on Amazon, just click the name of the item.


  1. Globe

  2. "Learn to Tie" Shoe

  3. Composition Notebook

  4. Glue Stick

  5. Kid's Scissors

  6. Pencils

  7. Paint Brushes

  8. Ruler (I used a clear one that I had, I think a wood one will look a lot better.)

  9. If You Take A Mouse To School

  10. First Day Sign

  11. Glue

  12. Kindergarten Here I Come

  13. ABC Book

  14. Learning to Tell Time Clock

  15. Math Counters

  16. Bob Books: Sight Words


Another really simple set-up involves one item. A garden flag! I went with an apple because it matched the indoor banner, and we can leave it up from now until the end of September. (October will bring a Halloween flag.) Of course, there are many other cute ones I will link below. I asked my kids to take a pretend "back to school picture" to showcase the new garden flag, and this is what they came up with haha. Don't worry, their real back to school photos won't be in flip flops.











I hope every student going back to school, whether on-line or in person has a safe, productive, positive and memorable year!


Dragon Mama


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