World Book Day: Stress-Free Costume Ideas

With World Book Day on the horizon, here's how to get set for the big day without any mad panic...
World Book Day: Stress-Free Costume Ideas
By Carli Allan
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World Book Day on Thursday, March 3 is a chance for children to celebrate their favourite stories and characters. It’s also a day that involves the carnage of facepaint, glue, eggboxes, old toilet rolls (and a mad panic before the school run). While anything that promotes books and reading is obviously brilliant, it has also become an annual event for competitive costume-making and last-minute DIY-ing.

“Is Elsa really a literary character?” "Has Super Mario ever appeared in print? “Do I spend an evening making the Hungry Caterpillar out of cardboard boxes, green crepe paper and red paper, or buy the costume in 60 seconds on Amazon Prime?"

To help you avoid those panicked scrambles through the fancy dress box, we've rounded up some advice from those who know best – mums – including costumes you can make in 10 minutes flat from items around the house!

Nikki Francis, Mum Knows Best Warwickshire

“It’s easy to get carried away with the stress of World Book Day, it’s a subject that comes up year after year in our parents support group. It can feel like a pressure with everything we have on our plates, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Most of us will have something around the house already that would work perfectly as a costume.

  • Still got your Halloween costume?! Great! You can be from Room on the Broom or Funny bones!
  • Does your child do ballet? Use an eye liner for whiskers and you’ve got Angelina Ballerina!
  • Do you have some toy dinosaurs? Perfect! Harry’s Bucketful of Dinosaurs!
  • My son has been reading Marcus Rashford’s book ‘You are a Champion’ so he’s already told me he’s going to wear and England kit. Perfect, we have one from the World Cup!

“If you need something more inventive, it still doesn’t have to break the bank. Try local selling sites. Our Facebook group has a clothing sales page where each year we have a World Book Day post and parents post their costumes for sale and request other items too. Sainsbury’s also often do a 25% off clothing over half term; if you can tie that in with WBD, you’re on to a winner.

“The children will love just not wearing uniform! Leave the stress for the Nativity as that’s a whole different level!"

Sabina Green, Mummy Matters

“So many parents panic when it comes to World Book Day and thinks they have to rush to buy costumes online if they aren't creative or feel they have to go all out on making something and this can get expensive. Don't be afraid to ask parents from older years if they have costumes which their children have outgrown that you can borrow or buy cheap, this has saved us lots of money.

“Another thing to remember is that not all characters in books are 'fancy dress'. Gangsta Granny is as simple as a skirt, cardigan and some talc in the hair to make it look grey; Where's Wally can be created with a red and white striped top!!”

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