Easy World Book Day Costume Ideas
Using Clothes You Already Have
World Book Day is a fantastic celebration of books, reading and literacy. As part of the celebrations most school expect kids to come along on World Book Day dressed as a character from a book, fairy tale or other literary work.
Great fun for the kids - can be a bit stressful for the parents!
So here are some great ideas for WBD costumes using the clothes that your kids will already have, and other bits and bobs that you may have around the house.
Pirates turn up in lots of books, from Peter Pan and Treasure Island to The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (yes, that was a book before it was a film). Fortunately pirate costumes are really easy. You need:-
- A pair of jeans
- A stripy T-shirt
- A scarf or bandana to tie around the head.
- Possible extras that you may have around the house are boots, a waistcoat, an eye patch, foam sword, face paints or eyebrow pencil to add a moustache.
- If you have a curtain ring, loop a rubber band around it and hang on the ear as an earring.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists - Printable Colouring Pictures
Ghosts are also a perennial favourite in literature. From A Christmas Carol to any number of ghost stories. You need:-
3) War Stories
Some hugely popular childrens novels are set in WWII; the most famous is the Chronicles of Narnia, there is but also Carrie's War, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and Johnny and the Bomb amongst many others. You can dress up as a child from WWII by wearing anything of the era
- Girls - ditsy floral dresses or a gathered skirt with blouse, plus a cardigan, hand-knitted for extra authenticity. On your feet, white ankle socks and mary-janes or lace-up flat shoes.
- Boys - school-type shorts, open neck shirt or polo shirt, V-necked jumper or tank top, again hand-knitted if possible. Long grey socks and school shoes.
Herge's Adventures of Tintin are stories of one little Belgian boy's tales of derring do. All done while wearing the fashionable children's clothing of the era it was written in. So in the 1920s he wore plus-fours, but by the 1970's he wore flared trousers, all without looking a day older! You need:-
- Trousers in any shade of mid-brown. Roll them up to just below the knee if you want to get that 1920's plus-fours look.
- Open necked shirt or polo shirt.
- Round-necked jumper, mid-blue if possible.
- Long socks.
- Extras you may have include a beige anorak and some hair gel to create that trademark quiff.
5) Pippi Longstocking
Pippi Longstocking is brave and fearless - and she wears a wonderful jumbled hotch-potch of clothes, so just grab all your favourites out of the wardrobe. You need:-
- Random clothes, but Pippi always wears a skirt (even when climbing trees).
- Long mis-matched socks. This is her signature look, and vital to this costume working.
- Long hair should be in plaits tied with ribbons if possible. Freckles could be added with face paints or eyebrow pencil if you wish.
6) Harry Potter and Friends
There is a very good chance that you have either a wizard or witch costume left over from Halloween already. Wear a cloak or wizard's hat over any clothes and you are good to go as either a pupil of Hogwarts, a teacher or another character from the Harry Potter books.
To go as a pupil of Hogwarts you need:-
- Black Trousers - it is possible that your school ones may be OK.
- White Shirt
- A stripy tie
- Grey V neck jumper
- Stripy scarf (optional)
- Extras include a wand (or maybe a nice knobbly looking stick), round glasses (you can print a pattern here to make your own) and a bezum from the garden shed.
Harry Potter Printable Puzzles
7) The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is the moving WW2 tale of Bruno, son of a German camp commandant and Jewish boy Shmuel. You need:-
8) Where's Wally?
The Where's Wally books are a worldwide phenomenom. The costume is dead easy too.
- Red and white striped top.
- Jeans or a denim skirt
- Red and white bobble hat.
- Round glasses (see Harry Potter)
Is your daughter dance mad? Then she could wear her ballet kit to school for World Book Day. Younger girls can say that they are Angelina Ballerina, while older ones may prefer to say that they are Posy from Noel Streatfield's classic story Ballet Shoes. You need:-
- A leotard, tutu/dance skirt, dance tights and wrap around cardigan. Probably best not to wear your actual ballet shoes if it's raining!
10) Diary of a Wimpy Kid
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney are hugely popular, spawning a successful film franchise. The costume is the easiest ever. You need:-
- Black shorts, a white T-shirt and trainers. This may be the school PE kit anyway.
Looking for a classic? well Heidi, the story of a little Swiss girl who melts the heart of her grumpy old grandfather when she goes to live with him, is ever-popular. To dress up as Heidi you need.
- white blouse
- Dirndl (gathered) skirt.
- For that authentic Alpine look, plait long hair and pin the plaits around the head.
12) Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist is one of literature's classics. If you have a bit of time, this costume is one where you can recycle old clothes that you have at home. You need:-
- Old trousers, maybe too short or that have gone through at the knee. Roughly cut them off just below the knee.
- An old shirt. Last year's ratty school shirt would be perfect. Cut off the collar and cuffs and fray them
- Baker boy cap.
- Extras include a waistcoat and some dirty marks on the face. Use face paint or give the kids Marmite on toast for breakfast. Bare feet would be authentic but a bit chilly in early March.
- Practise saying "Please Sir, can I have some more?"
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About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!