A First Grade Boy’s Guide to School Picture Day

School picture day is rapidly approaching! Or as I like to think of it, the day my mom reminds me of Kari from The Incredibles movie. You know, the part where she answers the front door after babysitting Jack-Jack, and she’s developed a creepy smile and an eye twitch?

Honestly, I don’t understand what the big deal is. I’m mean, it’s just a photo that’s going to be memorialized as my class picture for all time. It will only be seen by hundreds of people, including everyone who comes to my graduation party in 11 years. No biggie!

I’ve developed my own successful method for preparing for School Picture Day. I figure kids everywhere could benefit from my two whole years of experience.

From a 7-year-old boy to kids everywhere, here’s how to prepare for School Picture Day.

A First Grade Boys Guide to Picture Day

In the Days Leading Up to Picture Day

Develop a Creative Clothes Storage System

I’ve found the best places to store my favorite clothes are under the bed, behind doors, and crammed in miscellaneous bags that I leave in the car. When I remember that I want to wear one of those shirts for picture day, my mom and I spend some quality time together doing a “treasure hunt” around the house. This usually happens about 45 minutes after my usual bedtime, the night before picture day.

Take Up a Risky New Sport or Hobby

I especially recommend sports where high-velocity projectiles are frequently flying at your face. Parkour, rollerblading, lawn darts, bocce ball, rugby, and MMA are all great options for the days leading up to school pictures.

“Forget” About Haircuts

Haircuts. What a time-waster, am I right? Help your mom free up time in her own schedule by removing any mention of haircuts for 8-10 weeks leading up to the big day. If she does suggest one, throw a gigantic fit until she throws up her hands in frustration.

Remove Unwanted Teeth

If you’ve got a tooth that is wiggly, slightly wiggly, or pre-wiggly – it’s got to go. Use all your extra time between rugby practice and lack of haircuts to set those pearly whites free!

On the Morning of School Picture Day

You are the Hair Stylist

If my mom uses, say, a pea-size amount of sculpting paste, I like to use a peach-size amount to ensure maximum hold and shine. My rule of thumb is the more product, the better! Also, it may be a good time to personally trim your hair. After all, you missed all those hair cut appointments.

Power(ade) Up at Breakfast

Choose a hearty breakfast that will really stick to your bones (and possibly your shirt and face). Some options include: brightly colored sports drinks, jam, cupcakes with dyed frosting, chocolate milk, or toothpaste. I’ve found the more artificial food dyes I consume, the more my face takes on a memorable and interesting expression.

Achieve a Healthy Glow

I think I look and feel my best when I’ve worked up a good sweat. That’s why you want to really exert yourself on the playground and in PE class before your school picture. If you get too sweaty, you can always wipe your face on your favorite shirt.

During Your School Picture

Choose a facial expression as your Signature Look. Or at the very least, make my mom say, “Oh, Graham,” in that half-expasperated, half-amused way she does. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

A First Grade Boy’s Guide to School Picture Day
“This IS my natural smile.”
A First Grade Boy’s Guide to School Picture Day
First Grade’s Most Wanted
T-Rexcellent!
“I don’t know who tooted.”
Humphrey Bogart
The Sneeze
Blink-eriffic
Say Cheese

With these tips in mind, you’re on your way to a memorable school picture. In the meantime, I’m off to throw some lawn darts.


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Lindsay Talsness
Lindsay grew up in Cedar Rapids and is surprised and delighted to find that she lives here as an adult. She's been married to a really great guy named Christian since 2007 and during that time, they've added three amazing kids to their family - Eadie (9), Graham (6), and Greta (4). Lindsay has spent time working as a content strategist, freelance writer, stay-at-home-mom, and is now enjoying homeschooling her kids. When she's not reenacting the Boston Tea Party for her kids with stuffed animals and fruit snacks, she loves being active outside, watching baseball games, reading great books, and having friends over for any reason at all. At the end of the day, Lindsay hopes she consistently lives out her faith, builds a strong family culture, and encourages moms around her in a meaningful way.

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