Kids & Parenting

World Book Day Costume Ideas

World Book Day is once again upon us. Which character will your child be dressing up as this year?

There are some things that you really look forward to as a parent, and World Book Day was one of them for me. Before I had Little K, I really looked forward to coming up with ideas and preparing costumes.

Then reality hit. Every year you get the note from nursery/school that there will be dress up on World Book Day (this year taking place on Thursday 5th March 2020), and off you go. Who do you want to be?! Do we buy a costume? Do we make it? Can we make it?

The past few years, I’ve had quite easy as Little K has been so young she didn’t really understand and I could just dress her up how I wanted. Last year she was Angelina Ballerina, dressed up in a ballet tutu with mouse ears.

And now preparations begin for this year.

I have spoken to numerous parents about World Book Day, and other dress up days, as when I was a child, I do not remember having shop bought costumes at all. I don’t even remember seeing them in the shops. Are shop bought costumes a relatively new thing? I will always try to make, or pull together an outfit myself rather than a shop bought one. One of my friends voiced a rather accurate, and yet often unsaid opinion that ‘making a costume shows teachers I am invested in my child’. I hadn’t realised, or admitted it to myself previously, but I can’t help but tend to agree. I don’t want to just run out to the shop the day before, buy whatever’s left and just hope Little K is happy. I want to be the crafty mum. The mum who stays up late sewing costumes and painting accessories. I’m not that mum. But I want to be. And I will try my goddamn best to be! But maybe not this year…

One other problem I have really struggled with this year is how difficult it is to come up with a character costume that is directly related to a description of a character in a book and not the depiction of that character in the film or tv version! I am trying really hard to stay away from costumes that rely on films, but it is almost impossible these days! Especially with the vast array of Disney adaptations. I will however draw the line at sending Little K dressed as Elsa. The Snow Queen, yes, she is a book character. Elsa, no. Elsa is a film character. Anyone who wants to disagree and point out that there is now an array of Frozen books will be falling on deaf ears. I am holding my ground on that one! 

I am going to try and keep it relatively easy this year, as we are in the middle of packing up our house for a move, so don’t want to have to add something else to my list of things to prepare! I am hoping I can persuade Little K that she wants to dress as Sophie from The Tiger who Came to Tea. She already has a blue long sleeve top and purple pinafore dress. Just need to dig out some suitably patterned tights. Add in her Tigger beanie baby and a tin of beans with the label pulled off and a Tiger Food label added and Voila!

For those of you running out of ideas, see my list of World Book Day ideas that I’m holding in reserve for future use:

  1. Matilda from Matilda – Blue dress, red bow in har, books/book bag
  2. Witch from The Room on the Broom – Standard witch outfit, possibly with varying stuffed animals, bow in plaited hair
  3. Alice from Alice in Wonderland – Blue dress, white apron, white rabbit stuffed toy.
  4. White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland – Yellow shirt/waistcoat, black trousers, red cardigan/jacket, bunny ears, timepiece, umbrella, rabbit tail
  5. Mermaid from The Singing Mermaid – Mermaid costume
  6. Peter Pan from Peter Pan – Dressed all in green with a green hat with feather
  7. Wendy from Peter Pan – Blue night dress
  8. Tinkerbell from Peter Pan – Green dress, hair in bun, fairy wing
  9. Cinderella from Cinderella – Drab, dirty skirt and top, possibly with holes and a broom
  10. Peter Rabbit from Peter Rabbit – Rabbit ears, rabbit tail, brown trousers, white shirt, blue jacke
  11. Flopsy from Peter Rabbit – Rabbit ears, rabbit tail, pink dress, pink cardigan
  12. Dorothy from Wizard of Oz – Blue gingham dress, white apron, silver shoes (if you want to stick to the book, or red for the film), basket with stuffed dog
  13. Mary Poppins from Mary Poppins – Black/blue skirt, white shirt, blue jacket, Black hat with white flower, white gloves, red bow tie, black umbrella with parrot head (great tutorials online for how to make this)
  14. Angelina Ballerina from Angelina Ballerina – Ballet outfit, Mouse ears, mouse tail (stuffed tights make a good tail)
  15. Katie from the Katie and the Artists series – Red coat, blue jeans, red bows in pigtails
  16. Harry Potter from Harry Potter Series – Round glasses, scar on forehead, normal clothes, black cape, wand, red and yello striped scarf
  17. Wally / Wanda from Where’s Wally? – Red and white strip top, blue trousers, red and shite stripe hat, round glasses
  18. Gangsta Granny from Gangsta Granny – Grey wig, glasses, walking stick, mid length skirt, shirt and cardigan
  19. The Little Princess from The Little Princess– White night gown, yellow crown
  20. The Hungry Caterpillar from The Hungry Caterpillar – Red hat (stick on cardboard circles for eyes and purple pipe cleaners for antennae, varying shades of green clothes
  21. Mildred Hubble from The Worst Witch – School uniform style clothes with witch cape, hat with broom
  22. Tiger from The Tiger who Came to Tea – Tiger outfit / orange and black stripes.
  23. Sophie from The Tiger who Came to Tea – Blue long sleeve top, purple pinafore dress, check tights (or coloured tights), toy tiger, tin of ‘tiger food’ (take label off a can of beans and stick a new one on!)
  24. Mr Bump from The Mr Men Series – Wear all blue and wrap in bandages
  25. Winnie the Pooh from Winnie-the-Pooh – Yellow long sleeve top, red short sleeve, yellow trousers, jar of ‘Hunny’
  26. Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh – Tiger costumes / orange and black stripes
  27. Piglet from Winnie-the-Pooh – Pink trousers, pink stripy top, pig nose, pink ears
  28. Skeletons from Funny Bones – Reuse Halloween skeleton costume!
  29. Paddington Bear from Paddington Bear – Red bucket hat, blue over coat, brown top and trousers, satchel with marmalade sandwiches and a label
  30. The Snowman from The Snowman – Reuse Christmas snowman costume if you have one! – If not, all dressed in white with large black buttons on the front, green bucket hat, green scarf and paint a red nose day nose orange.

What are your favourite World Book Day Costumes? Are there any that I’ve missed?!

30 Simple World Book Day Costumes for busy parents
30 Simple World Book Day Costumes for busy parents

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