Planning for Back to School – First Day Photos and More… #LSSS

Live Safe Security SquadI’m a member of Master Lock’s Live Secure Safety Squad and have been compensated for my time in writing this post.

It’s almost time for getting kids back to school. Depending on where you live, you might be deep in back-to-school preparations, or you might even have another month of summer.

Here in BC, Canada, our kids don’t go back to school until September! But it seems most of my American friends have their kids well into their school routines in early August.

I think the Back-to-School season can be a little stressful for both parents and kids… at least it is for me.

One thing that’s a little too important to me is that I get good “First Day of School” photos. It’s kinda funny how now with blogging and social media, photos of kids’ first day of school each year have become such a big deal. I’m pretty sure as a child, I never once had a photo taken of me on my first day of school… in any year!

Since it has become so important for me to get a good shot of my girls headed off to school, I try to plan ahead what type of shot I’m going to take and if they’re going to hold signs up saying what grade they’re going into.

Here are a couple of last year’s shots of my girls with Janice’s kids…

Back to School - First Day Photos

I made those signs the kids are holding at about midnight the night before. I aim to be more prepared this year.

Keeping Kids and Their Belongings Safe at School

When we send our kids off to a new school – especially in the transition to middle school, junior high or high school – it can be a little scary for both kids and parents.

We want to make sure our kids are safe and that their belongings such as laptops and smart phones don’t get stolen.

I think it’s important to set up guidelines and rules with our children to help keep them safe and to revaluate and adjust as they get older. Working together with your kids to establish the rules will help. For instance, you may establish rules for where your child is allowed to play after school and that would change as he/she ages.

Rules for using technology and bringing tech devices to school should also be discussed. For instance, at a certain age it may become necessary for your child to bring a laptop, tablet or smart phone to school. You will then want to discuss how that technology will be used and where it will be securely stored.

You want to teach your child that while sharing in general is a nice thing to do, he/she should NEVER share her smartphone, tablet or laptop with other kids. It’s not because you don’t want them to be nice to their friends, but because once someone is logged on to their device, they have access to their private information, WIFI access and other secure information and their email as well as other social accounts.

One of their friends could do something like a “prank” and send out an inappropriate message or do something much worse.

So any tech devices should be used only by your child and when not used, safely locked in his/her locker.

And you’ll want to get your child a good lock to secure his/her school locker.

Set-Your-Own Combination Padlocks

MasterLock Combination Lock

MasterLock Set-Your-Own Combination Locks No. 1535DWD are an affordable, simple way to give you peace of mind that your child’s belongings are safe at school.

Product Features:

  • Create personalized combinations using memorable words
  • Easy to set & reset with a coin on bottom of lock
  • 1-1/2″ (40mm) wide metal body for superior strength
  • Dial grip points for accurate dialing
  • Slim footprint & ergonomic design for ease of use
  • Hardened steel shackle for extra cut resistance
  • Each package contains one lock

Keep the Safety Discussion Going

Remind your child to never tell the locker combination to any friends. If a friend does find out the combination, simply change to a new combination.

Communicating with your kids about physical and digital safety is a continual process.

Check out my earlier post and video about Teaching Kids Security in the Digital Age.

Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge

Now through September 7th, visit for the chance to win great prizes. Participants will be shown two similar back-to-school images.  Simply find and click on the five differences in the photos before time runs out.  Finding all differences will unlock the next photo board with the potential to earn up to two sweepstakes entries for each play.

In addition, by sharing the Master Lock Photo Hunt Challenge on Twitter, entrants are able to earn an additional entry per day. One lucky grand prize winner will win a Samsung Smart Media Center Package that includes a 60” HD 1080p Smart LED HDTV. There are 65 total chances to win, which includes 1 grand prize, 8 weekly prizes, and 56 daily instant win prizes. Additional prize information and official rules can be found on

Master Lock Twitter Party Back to School Twitter Party

The Master Lock Twitter Party will take place on August 5th and will be hosted by Resourceful Mommy. Participants will have the chance to win both Master Lock and other back-to-school prizes.

More Back-To-School Posts

The rest of the #LSSS crew are blogging about back-to-school as well. Find their posts at:

For More About Keeping Your Family Secure

Find more resources and ideas on our Safety Tips – Protecting All You Love Pinterest Board.



Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and
Pin with me at


  1. says

    My kids are transitioning to middle school this year and will be bringing smartphones with them. Hopefully, they won’t lost their new phones!

  2. Karen Glatt says

    I like the signs in your picture. I make sure that I keep my nephews stuff protected by using a good lock like masterlock. The phone, and laptop are to valuable to lose and this lock keeps his stuff safe.

  3. Jeanna says

    Back to school is stressful for me also at first! Love the signs the kids are holding in the pictures! I’ll have to add that to my list!

  4. Dee says

    My nieces are in school and I never really thought to tell their parents about keeping possessions safe. Usually they just have simple school supplies and their little bookbags with them but this masterlock info is helpful!

  5. vickie couturier says

    I like the pictures too,this summer seemed to have flown by,,and the locks are so bright and colorful

  6. justin tan says

    Love the lock. so cool. wish i had it when I was in school last time. i’d love to join the twitter party and the photo hunt too. sounds fun!

  7. Nicole Dz says

    Create way to use these chalkboards to create some awesome back to school photos, love this idea! Going to use this!

  8. says

    Those are great locks! And cute, too. On the picture, why isn’t the boy holding a sign saying his grade? That would have made the pictures even more perfect.

  9. Tammy S says

    I think it’s important to get a good back to school picture also. We have had the talk about keeping your things and self safe.

  10. Sonya Morris says

    Set your own combination? Change it later? Genius! My locker was stacked (where your “friend” places your books to fall out when you open your locker) so many times in high school that I was constantly late for classes!

  11. Christina G. says

    I’ve got pictures of my daughter’s kindergarten and first grade first days, but I don’t know what happened after that, LOL. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Betsy Barnes says

    Love your photos, so adorable! This is a great post to remind parents to make sure their children’s belongings are safe using Master Lock!

  13. Marlena U. says

    Back to school photos are a must! I love driving my daughter to school and seeing all the other families out on their front porch/yards taking pictures! I also take a video the day before school to record all of my daughter’s favorite things. Love seeing her grow each year!

  14. Nancy says

    Those first day pics are cute. This post has some excellent suggestions for keeping children and their electronic devices and information safe and secure.

  15. Shawna O says

    Love your kids back-to-school pictures. Sent my oldest to Middle school today and he’s going to need a MasterLock Set-Your-Own Combination Lock this year.

  16. Benita says

    Your photos are beautiful; you have a beautiful family. The locks you write about seem very helpful to secure children’s belongings. Certainly securing one’s belongings is extremely important keeping in mind the value both monetary and personal.

  17. Carolann Leibenguth says

    I love the back to school picture. Discussing internet safety and safety in general is so important now a days. We do so much online that a simple mistake can affect a whole family for a long time.

  18. katklaw777 says

    First day of school photos are so good to have…I always took ours near the same tree to see the growth of both.

  19. K. Finn says

    I played the MasterLock Photo Hunt game. I had some trouble getting my clicks to take, so I guess someone else will be the winner. But it’s nice to try, and thank you also for your contests. :-)

  20. Jill Myrick says

    My children love going back to school and seein their friends after a long summer vacation. I have always made first day back pictures and use them to make a collage for each school year.


  21. Michelle S says

    I definitely think there is a need to keep your child’s stuff safe at school. They might think it overboard, but you sadly can never be too careful. I think although first day of school is trending, I’m sure when your child is older they’ll be happy you took the time to save that memory for them.

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