Last Day of School Pictures! 20 Creative Photo Op Ideas

Last Day of School Pictures! 20 Creative Photo Op Ideas

The last day of the school year is an exciting time for children, whether they are finishing up their first year of preschool or their senior year of high school. Here are 20 unique photo op ideas for the last day of school pictures to capture the joy and excitement on your children’s faces as they leave schoolwork behind and jump right into summer!

Last Day of School Pictures! 20 Photo Op Ideas

three elementary aged children wearing blue graduation gowns throw confetti in the air and celebrate with last day of school pictures

Yard Signs

Adorn your front yard with a “HAPPY GRADUATION” sign. There are companies that will come to set up the individual letters in your front yard with custom messages like “CONGRATULATIONS Alice! Last Day of School!” Or “Hannah is a High Schooler!” It can say anything you want.

I’ve seen them for birthdays, retirements, graduations, and as a way of welcoming someone home. You can have two rows of messages or just one, letters all in caps, or look for other customization options. The company comes to your home and sets it all up! These signs last a while so after your last day of school photo op, it’ll still be in your yard for days. Your child will smile every time they pass it.


Find a little chalkboard sign that you fill in each last day of school. Most pre-made designs record information like your child’s age, school, favorite subject this year, favorite sports, and things they’re looking forward to doing this summer. Have your child hold the sign in front of them for the photo.

This can be done anywhere, including inside if the weather is not cooperating. They’re usually black chalkboards so you can use traditional white chalk or you can buy liquid chalk. I prefer the liquid version because it writes smaller and you can fit more in. It also does not smear once dried, unlike regular chalk.

a child wearing a salmon colored shirt and shorts holds up a black chalkboard sign with information about his interests and hopes for the summer

High Five

For a simple and cute photo on the last day of school, just have your child hold up the number of fingers that corresponds to the grade they’re going into next year. This works great for elementary-aged kids as it’s easy for them to hold up two fingers like a peace sign or five with a high five. You can take this photo in front of your house, in front of the school, in front of the bus, or anywhere inside as well.

School Bus Fun

This one will take some coordination with your school bus driver. You should ask them well in advance for permission. If they’re willing, you could take a great photo of your kids or all of the kids hanging out of the school bus windows for a fun “last day on the bus” picture. If the answer is no, a photo of your child jumping off of the bus steps would be great as well. Just make sure they remember to be picture ready when they get off the bus that day!

Floating in the Pool

The end of the school year means it’s officially time for summer at the pool! What better way to depict this than a fun photo of your child in the pool, relaxing on an inner tube, sunglasses on, and juice in hand? If it’s too cold to get in yet, you could also just take a photo of them lounging by the pool or sitting at the edge with their toes dipping in.

a young girl floats in a pool on a pink donut inner tube. she is wearing a blue and white polka dotted swim suit and pink rimmed sunglasses

Frame Yourself

Create a custom frame for your child to peek through. Using a large piece of cardboard, cut out a square or rectangle in the middle and decorate the frame with your child’s name and a custom message like “Haley’s Last Day of 3rd Grade!” or “Officially a Middle Schooler!” I’ve made one myself before with a Lego theme. I have also seen great ones at the dollar store in the birthday party section!

Number Balloons

Head to a party store for some giant number balloons to indicate your child’s grade for the next school year. The balloons come in all sorts of colors as well as a multicolored print. They measure a whopping 34” in height, so that’s really all you need for this photo! The photo will be a nice memento that speaks for itself.

This photo option can be moved indoors if needed. You could do it inside of the school, in front of their classroom, at the bus stop, or in front of or inside your home. Make sure you use a weight to keep them from flying off!

Class T-shirts

Order a t-shirt with the year your child will graduate from high school printed on it. My son’s says Class of 2032! You’ll probably want to order a size Large as they will wear it until they graduate their senior year. For those Kindergarten or first-grade photos, they’ll be swimming in it which is part of the fun. My son’s went down to the floor!

Take a photo of your child in the shirt at the beginning and end of each school year and watch your child grow into it, literally! You can have yours custom-made or search for one online. Retailers sell these so far in advance specifically for this purpose!

a young boy wears a class of 2032 t-shirt that is several sizes too big for him

Photo Collage

Set up a sweet photo shoot around town with your child to celebrate the last day of school. Bust out their finest spring and summer wear for some wardrobe changes. You could have a collage of photos taken at the bus stop, in front of their school, in the classroom, at home, on the football field, or at a beautiful park. Choose spots that are meaningful or represent your child’s interests. Don’t forget to get a couple of photos together with your child!

There are so many ways to snap a photo to remember the excitement of the last day of school. Don’t forget to plan ahead if you have to buy props, custom clothing, or signs for the photo op. Lots of these set-ups are even great for those who like to think long-term, as many ideas can be recreated and built upon year after year. Keep it simple or get really creative – it’s up to you and your child.

Burn the Books

A hilarious idea for a last day of school photo would be to throw some folders, papers, or books into a bonfire as a physical good riddance to that grade’s school work. Take a photo of your child dropping a few folders into the burning fire for a hilarious and unique way to celebrate the completion of another school year. Have a few workbooks or folders already burning in the bin and take the picture as your child adds another item to the flame with a huge smile on their face.

Make it Rain

A really cool photo idea to capture the joy of having no schoolwork for the summer is to have your child throw homework papers and folders up in the air and snap a photo as the papers rain down all around them. To create contrast against the papers, either wear dark or colorful prints if most of the papers are white, or wear white and find the most colorful papers from the year. Try a couple of different angles from high above or from the ground looking up. Experiment for the best shot.

Four children with backpacks on throw white papers into the air and celebrate the last day of school

Giant Numbers

This one will take a bit of research. Try to find somewhere around town with a giant number to represent the grade your child is moving up to. Search around town for the corresponding number. Look downtown, in museums, on street signs, or building numbers. You’ll have to get creative and look and ask around. If you can find the right number, it’ll be a perfect photo op for the last day of school.


Nothing screams summer like a cannonball into the swimming pool. Tell me how much you love summer by jumping in the pool with a huge splash! These always make for great photos. You can even have a few friends lined up to jump in together. Get really creative and go underwater with an underwater camera! Instead of water splashing up into the air, you’ll get air bubbles floating to the surface.

Silly String Surprise

If you’ve got kids that wouldn’t be upset by this sort of ambush, a fun and colorful photo opp for the last day of school would be to spray silly string at your kids as soon as they step off the bus or approach your house. This one may take help from grandparents and others to take the photos or spray the silly string. You can buy small cans of silly string at the dollar store. Make sure you shake the cans up before the bus comes!

children are bombarded with silly string as they walk off the bus. there are strings of silly string flying in the air

Custom Shirts

Make a custom t-shirt and have whatever you want printed on it. Make the saying fun and personal, like “I graduated 1st grade!” “Middle school, here I come!” “Tommy’s last day of school!” That last one can even be reused for a few years. With so many people owning personal Cricuts these days, you can probably find someone local to create a custom t-shirt or tank for you. You can also head to Etsy to order a custom-made shirt online. Some libraries even offer Cricuts for patrons to use!

Sunset at the Park

The beginning of summer is a beautiful time to be outdoors. The vibrant colors of the flowers blooming and lush green grass make for a beautiful backdrop to a photo shoot. Choose a park setting or a place with a beautiful sunset view and head over about an hour before sunset. You may want to bring along a third person or a tripod so you can jump in some shots with your child! You don’t want to miss out on beautiful photos together.

Graduation Gown

Don a full-sized graduation gown for some fun last day of school pictures. If you have elementary-aged kiddos, it will be really funny as the gown will probably be three times too big. This photo can be taken virtually anywhere, so it is a weather-safe option! If your child is too short, have them sit on a tall chair with the rest of the gown hanging down to the floor. This fun and unique photo opportunity will make you smile for years to come.

a mother adjusts the cap on a little girl wearing a graduation gown and salmon colored tassels

Leaving School

Get an action shot of your child walking out of the school for the last time that year. They can throw the doors open and put on some cool shades or shout out with joy with their hands in the air. This photo can be done in advance or even after the last day. This flexible idea works well in case the last day of school is too hectic for a photo shoot. They can even be dressed up in their best or favorite outfit and you can prep their hair and straighten out their collars. An added bonus would be capturing the school’s name in the photo!

Graduation Caps

Snap a shot of your child throwing a graduation cap in the air – it doesn’t have to be their senior year! Starting in elementary school, you can find smaller sized caps with tassels. You can let your child decorate the cap inside and out. The caps and tassels flying in the air make a great action shot. Another idea is to have your child hold in front of them a colorfully decorated cap or one with their grade painted on it.


Take an adorable photo of your child holding up the number of balloons corresponding to the year that they graduated from or are graduating into, whichever you prefer. For example, have your sixth grader hold six balloons. This can be an annual tradition, adding a balloon to the photo each year. You can get beautiful, colorful photos with a variety of balloon colors or types. The balloons can be your child’s favorite colors or represent your school with school colors.

a child holds up a pink balloon of the number 7 to signify graduation 8th grade

Get inspired with 100 ideas for last-day-of-school fun!


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What are your favorite last day of school photo op ideas? Share your best last day of school pictures with us below or tag us on social media using #PLAYindy. Follow Indy with Kids on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest for all of the best ideas and things to do with kids in Indy!


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