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

by Susan

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

Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 IBM Laptop Service Center In Chennai August 1, 2014 at 3:04 am

I like your post very much i had nice time while reading your post


2 Lauren August 1, 2014 at 8:46 am

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


3 Cheryl Free August 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Master Lock is a classic. I used them when I was in school. The photo hunt is fun too :)


4 Rebecca Parsons August 3, 2014 at 11:10 pm

I love these new locks and master lock is the best there is for protection of their belongings.


5 Janet W. August 4, 2014 at 5:13 am

We will definitely be taking back to school photos of my grandsons! I love the colors of those locks!


6 Lisa Brown August 4, 2014 at 7:09 am

i like back to school pictures


7 Kathy Stevenson August 4, 2014 at 8:13 am

I love the signs in the pictures!


8 Karen Glatt August 4, 2014 at 8:50 am

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.


9 Jeanna August 4, 2014 at 9:36 am

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!


10 Dee August 4, 2014 at 10:21 am

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!


11 vickie couturier August 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm

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


12 justin tan August 4, 2014 at 12:23 pm

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!


13 Meagan bs August 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm

we are going to try the chalkboard back to school photo this year


14 Nicole Dz August 4, 2014 at 7:08 pm

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


15 Forgetfulone August 4, 2014 at 8:10 pm

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.


16 Keisha C. August 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Enjoyed this post. First day pictures are a big thing at my home too!


17 Tammy S August 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

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.


18 Sonya Morris August 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm

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!


19 Dandi D August 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Those are some adorable pictures! What a great group of kids!


20 Ru August 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I do something very similar!


21 Amy Orvin August 8, 2014 at 10:05 pm

I love the cute signs. What an interesting idea!


22 Cynthia C August 10, 2014 at 11:50 am

The signs are so cute and help date the pictures for later when it’s hard to remember.


23 anne hill August 10, 2014 at 11:58 am

i love these locks andi think your BTS pic is very clever. i will try this idea


24 Christina G. August 11, 2014 at 12:04 am

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!


25 BusyWorkingMama August 11, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Adorable photos! My daughter would only let me take one this morning and it turned out a bit blurry! Boo!


26 mrsshukra August 12, 2014 at 12:55 am

First day of school photos are so special!


27 Betsy Barnes August 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm

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!


28 CR Williams August 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Back to school shopping is so expensive.


29 Helga August 13, 2014 at 11:09 am

I like the idea of photos. These are great tips since it can be such a stressful day.


30 Claudia M August 13, 2014 at 11:44 am

great tips ! I never knew about the Word MasterLock …too neat !


31 Linda Bradshaw August 17, 2014 at 3:58 am

Cute pictures! I love the new locks. I would prefer those for the kids instead of the other types.


32 Marlena U. August 17, 2014 at 9:16 am

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!


33 DEBIJOT August 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Master Lock is on our back to school list every year.


34 Heather Hayes Panjon August 21, 2014 at 11:08 am

Love The First Day Of School Signs!


35 Cheyenne August 21, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Those are so cute


36 Angela Saver August 22, 2014 at 12:36 am

I love the cute idea for signs in the first day of school pictures! I’ll be using that in the future!


37 Nancy August 23, 2014 at 8:50 am

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


38 Birdiebee August 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

I love Masterlock products and need to purchase on of the Set-Your-Own Combination Padlocks.


39 Caitlin McClure August 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I love the look of those Set-Your-Own Combination Padlocks


40 Jessica Medina August 25, 2014 at 10:14 pm

We homeschool, but we did back to school photos too!


41 Shawna O August 25, 2014 at 11:42 pm

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.


42 Barbara Platt August 28, 2014 at 7:48 am

they all look so cute


43 Mia Dentice Carey August 28, 2014 at 9:00 am

I really don’t think any schools around here have lockers any more =/


44 Benita August 28, 2014 at 9:16 am

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.


45 Tricia Nightowlmama August 28, 2014 at 10:56 am

I love personal home photos way more than school photos. Personalizing the first day to save memories for them as they get older will be so precious.


46 Carolann Leibenguth August 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm

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.


47 Rebecca D August 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I’ve never seen those locks before, but they look really easy for kids to use.


48 Lisa Marz August 30, 2014 at 7:21 pm

The locks are a good idea.


49 katklaw777 August 31, 2014 at 3:42 am

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


50 David Fultner September 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Oh my kids were so cute this year.


51 Shayna Brookman September 2, 2014 at 6:45 pm

My kids don’t go to school yet, however, this is great advice for when they are older :)


52 Dana Rodriguez September 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Masterlock is great.I have been using their products as long as I can remember.


53 Anita L September 4, 2014 at 7:46 am

Thank you for sharing your back to school photo’s! The children look very happy to be starting another year. :)


54 Amber September 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

this is a very neat idea!


55 elizabeth miller September 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Set your own codes are great. It makes it so much easier for smaller children to remember.


56 Lauren U September 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Love the back to school photo. Great idea for when my kid is ready to start school.


57 Della Barker September 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm

It’s a great reminder to talk to your children about passwords and safety. Setting your code is great!


58 K. Finn September 5, 2014 at 2:45 am

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. :-)


59 Amanda Sakovitz September 5, 2014 at 11:25 am

I am loving the locks!


60 Jill Myrick September 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm

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.



61 Smaug September 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

So cute! Those are some good locks for school lockers.


62 Michelle S September 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

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.


63 RICHARD+HICKS September 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm

The photos are a great idea. Wish I had some of myself way back!


64 CharityS September 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm

My son really loves Master Lock.


65 Terry September 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm

treasure those memories they go so fast!!!


66 Thomas Murphy September 6, 2014 at 1:50 am

I def. have to get my kids there own MasterLock Set-Your-Own Combination Locks.


67 Sarah L September 6, 2014 at 4:07 am

Locks have gone high tech since I was in school.


68 Buddy Garrett September 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

I enjoy reading these great posts on going back to school. The ideas are great and very helpful.


69 s riches September 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

What a good idea for a padlock. With these you cannot forget the combination.


70 Bobby December 8, 2014 at 8:21 pm

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