I don’t know about you but I feel that World Book Day has become a bit of a farce. These days it seems anything goes with a kids costume. Since when were Elsa, Spiderman or The Hulk a character in a much-loved classic children’s book?!
I paid a visit to a charity shop yesterday and picked up a dragon costume for £2.50 for Rex so he can go as one of Julia Donaldson’s fabulous characters, Zog. Grace is borrowing my 101 Dalmatians onesie and going as a dog with one of her friends as Cruella De Ville.
That all said, I do understand that busy parents don’t have much time on their hands to come up with a costume so I was pleased to see that Busy Bees, the UK childcare provider, has shared their top tips to help you get through World Book Day.
wonderful world book day
Thankfully, World Book Day is seen by a majority of parents (62%) as a perfect opportunity to encourage their children to talk about their favourite books, according to a survey of 1,350 parents from Busy Bees nurseries.
“While children don’t have to dress up, we know 22% of parents like to work with their children to create the perfect outfit. Spending time with your child to create their costume, based on their favourite book, can help them to develop their creative skills, while discussing storylines and characters.”Deena Billings, Head of Quality at Busy Bees
Costume ideas can be tricky – and Busy Bees understand this – so they are giving parents a helping hand by offering their top tips for creating an easy World Book Day costume from scratch by using items found at home.
don’t overthink it
The simplest ideas are often the best ones, as many famous book characters wear ordinary clothes. All it takes is one or two special accessories to make the outfit really stand out.
Charlie Bucket, the hero of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, a children’s favourite, wears normal winter clothes – just add a golden ticket, which can be made at home with the children or printed, and a chocolate bar with printed or handmade ‘Wonka Bar’ wrapping.
Paddington Bear’s iconic look can be recreated using a blue coat and a red hat, while an old witches’ hat and a broomstick can be used for a Room on the Broom inspired costume.
Leggings, a black leotard and a red ribbon can also be used as part of a ‘Cat in the Hat’ outfit – you can work together with your child to make the top hat at home using paint and cardboard, doubling up as an easy creative activity that everyone will enjoy. This is something I did with Grace in years gone by.
stripes – the possibilities are endless
A striped top is a great starting point for an array of costumes, and a fantastic way to stimulate a child’s imagination, as so many of popular characters wear them.
Examples include Wally of ‘Where’s Wally’, a school library staple – just add a bobble hat and a pair of round glasses. Burglar Bill is also a great way to capitalise on a striped top. To complete the look, use a tote bag as a money sack, create a mask out of old black cardboard and top it off with a flat cap.
don’t neglect the classics
Most popular book characters have highly distinguishable features, making them a tried and tested formula for World Book Day. Some of them are perfect last-minute costume ideas, and don’t involve a lengthy and complicated crafting process – leaving more time for reading.
Harry Potter is a great example: the British wizard is well-known worldwide for his round glasses and a unique lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, which can easily be recreated with makeup. You can also recycle an old Halloween costume to create a wizard robe – just use a drumstick or twig as a magic wand, and voila!