World Book Day is just around the corner, so to help bring your child’s fantasies to life, we have discussed all there is to know about the event; ideas for World Book Day costumes and how to create them at home.

ideas for world book day costumes

What is World Book Day?

World Book Day is a charitable event celebrated annually; in the UK, it will fall on Thursday 3rd March 2022. The event offers tokens to every child in full-time education to help them explore their reading interests and expand their literary horizons. These tokens can be redeemed in participating bookstores, supermarkets and online outlets.

Ideas for World Book Day Costumes

World Book Day includes a range of activities to help children feel part of the literary world. The Annual Literacy Survey 2021 found that 54.7% of children aged eight to eleven years old read more books as a direct result of taking part in World Book Day.

One of the most popular activities during the event is dress up, with schools across the country encouraging children to attend their lessons dressed as their favourite book character. Below, we have outlined three ideas for World Book Day costumes, all of which can be made at home.

1. Elmer

Although the first Elmer book was published in 1968, it remains one of the most iconic children’s book series of all time. The story follows Elmer – a colourful patchwork elephant – as he explores his individuality and the beauty of being different. To create an Elmer costume, follow the steps below:

a) Draw two large elephant ears on white card and cut them out
b) Draw a patchwork pattern on each ear
c) Using bright colours, paint each patchwork square
d) Once dry, attach the ears to a headband using double-sided tape
e) Draw a long trunk shape on a piece of white card and cut it out
f) Using a hole punch, create two holes on either side of the top of the trunk
g) Similarly to the ears, draw a patchwork pattern on the trunk and paint using multicolours
h) Thread a piece of elastic through the punched holes and tie a knot at the back of your child’s head, so the trunk sits below their chin

2. Where’s Wally?

Where’s Wally? Is a series of children’s puzzle books depicting colourful and amusing illustrations; the reader is tasked with finding Wally amongst dozens of other cartoon characters. To transform your child into the mischievous Wally, follow the steps below:

a) Using a bright blue colour, paint two small cardboard tubes
b) Once dry, use a thick black pen to draw borders around both ends of the tubes
c) Using glue or double-sided tape, attach the tubes together side by side
d) Thread some ribbon inside both tubes – long enough to sit around your neck – to create binoculars
e) To finish the look, dress your child in blue jeans, a red and white striped t-shirt and a white and red bobble hat

3. The BFG

Roald Dahl’s The BFG follows an orphan named Sophie who meets a friendly giant. Together they gift good dreams to sleeping children and help rid the world of child-eating monsters. To create a BFG costume, follow the steps below:

a) Cut a large ear shape into two paper plates
b) Using a light pink colour, paint the plates and leave them to dry
c) To create The BFG’s hair, cut four pieces of string at the same length and paint them brown
d) Using tape, attach them to the top of a headband
e) To finish the look, dress your child in green trousers, a white top and a brown waistcoat

Although there are plenty of ideas for World Book Day costumes, it’s important to consider your child’s preferences and help them recreate their favourite book character. Helping your child to express their reading preferences in the form of performance and role play will develop their identity and sense of self in the future.