There’s a lot of excitement around picture day for kids. They get to stand in line as they retuck their shirts and have stubborn cowlicks combed down. Then they have to awkwardly smile in response to a goofy, dated joke from a photographer—all to be immortalized in a split second for the sake of distant relatives they’ve met once or twice before. Despite this, picture day is still a lot of fun for them!  

    But picture day is a definitely a bigger deal for parents. Even before their child’s photo is taken, they’ve already made a list of the aunts and uncles who are getting the wallet-sized prints, and the grandparents and close friends destined to receive the 5x7s. Of course, the perfect frame for the 8x10 has been chosen and a spot on the mantle for the best school portrait ever taken was carved out weeks ago.

    For teachers, your job is to prepare students and parents for the big day. The Night Before Class Picture Day and The Class Picture Day from the Black Lagoon are must-haves for any teacher looking to get their kids amped up to have their photo taken. The Night Before Class Picture Day is perfect for discussing home routines and expectations for the big moment. And if they’re the least bit nervous, they’ll know that it can’t get any worse than it is for Hubie in The Class Picture Day from the Black Lagoon—he just can't get his hair to stay in place, he doesn't know what pose to choose, and he can't even tell which is his good side!

    For parents though, getting them ready for picture day is a totally different matter—one that no book can adequately prepare them for. Luckily for parents, you can put them at ease and make picture day perfect by sharing these three tips:

    1. Give Kids a Say in the Clothes They Wear

    Encourage parents to let their children have a say in what they wear. Suggest they give kids a few options to choose from—all nice and wrinkle free, yet comfortable. You can also advise parents to send a backup outfit just in case their kid’s pictures are scheduled for late in the day. A lot can happen in a school day, so it’s best to cover all the bases.

    2. Funny Stories Generate Genuine Smiles

    When it comes to coaxing a natural smile out of a kid, encourage parents to talk to children about a warm or humorous memory—one they can quickly recall right before having their picture taken. It could be a quick joke or a funny story from summer vacation, but something familiar and not too complex will increase the likelihood that their child will transform a nervous scowl to a genuine smile.

    3. Picture Day Captures What’s Real

    Finally, tell parents not to make too big a deal out of it. Whatever happens—whether it’s a perfect picture day or something not so perfect—it’s going to be a good memory. Why? Because it’s real. Worst-case scenario: parents, children, and teachers alike will all have something to laugh about a few weeks, months, or maybe even, years later.