WORLD BOOK DAY COSTUME IDEAS: UPDATED FOR 2017!
World Book Day happens every year around the same time, so you’d think I’d be better prepared by now. But without fail, at the beginning of March I find myself scrambling for last minute costumes. Are you a parent in a state of panic? Scroll down for a list of easy costumes that you can knock together at home, no sewing or super craftiness required!
When the babes were younger, I’d let them get away with their Batman and Spiderman suits (yeah comic books count, just about). Holy hotdogs, spot the caped crusader, posing with Where’s Wally outside Cole AND Sons!
For 2016, Ezra was surprised to win Best Costume in his class for our very last minute costume Hulk, while Jed made a dashing Harry Potter (he has the lightning scar to match)!
In 2015, Dennis the Menace and John from Peter Pan were a hit.
Jed was such a cheeky Dennis the Menace, I’ve been toying with sending him as Gnasher (black clothes, tail, giant teeth). Very meta.
I could send Jed as a handsome gladiator (if I owned this helmet).
Or perhaps the boys could be characters in the Arabian Nights.
I think Ezra would be a great Willy Wonka, but he’s not keen. Maybe James and the Giant Peach?
World Book Day is one of the many times that I long for more diversity in mainstream (children’s) literature. A child’s imagination is a superpower that transcends race or gender and I dig that. But if you’re looking for the equivalent of a Tintin or a Dorothy, there are slim pickings for kids of colour.
There’s actually a cool character called Jaden Toussaint from a picture book the boys have on their Kindles. With the big hair and funky stance, either Ezra or Jed could pull it off. Although I’m not sure anyone at school would realise they were in costume.
I have joked that the boys could simply turn up in regular clothes, as Franklin from the Peanuts gang. But they should probably make a bit more effort!
What should they wear for World Book Day this year? Suggestions in the comments always welcome and keep an eye on my social media feeds @babesabouttown on Twitter and Instagram, or /BabesaboutTown on Facebook to find out how they rocked it.
In the meantime, here’s a mini gallery of kids in costumes to inspire you:
Where’s Wally and Wenda
Wow, Paddington went all out. Talk about method acting (wink).
Easy World Book Day Costume Ideas for Boys
Oliver Twist (raggedy clothes, dirty face, empty bowl)
Charlie and Chocolate Factory (scruffy clothes, make your own golden ticket)
Harry Potter (face painting for scar, school tie and cape, long stick for wand)
Christopher Robin (shirt and shorts, Winnie the Pooh accessory)
Harry and his Bucket of Dinosaurs (bucket of toy dinos)
Tintin (white shirt, blue jumper, shorts)
Charlie Brown (striped yellow jumper, baseball glove, Snoopy accessory)
Linus (suck thumb, carry a blanket)
Horrid Henry (pirate hat and eye patch, cheeky expression)
Rastamouse (Rasta cap, white t-shirt, R medallion, mouse face paint or cardboard nose)
Caspar the Friendly Ghost (white sheet with eye holes)
James and the Giant Peach (carry giant orange balloon or ball)
Fantastic Mr Fox (smart shirt, waistcoat, paint fox face)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (white t-shirt, black shorts and trainers, backpack – you could also use a cut-out face)
Tom Gates (anything really, white t-shirt and black trousers, maybe pencil or guitar accessory – again, you could use a cut-out head)
The Cat in the Hat (black top and trousers, white gloves, red scarf as bow tie, make tall cardboard hat with stripes)
George from George’s Marvellous Medicine (carry medicine bottle and spoon)
Miss Trunchbull (scraped back hair, prim clothing, big ‘bosom’)
Alex Rider (cool clothes, spy gadget or agent badge)
Captain Underpants (cape, large underpants)
Easy World Book Day Costume Ideas for Girls
Alice in Wonderland (blue pinafore dress, hair band)
Sleeping Beauty (princess costume, pillow)
Dorothy from Wizard of Oz (blue pinafore/gingham dress, white socks, red shoes)
Cinderella (princess costume, one sparkly slipper)
Hermione (school uniform, cape, stick for wand)
Wendy Darling (nightgown, ribbon or bow in hair)
Pippi Longstocking (long stripy/mismatch socks, ginger hair in bunches)
Handa’s Surprise (simple dress, hair in twists or plaits, bowl of fruit on head)
Matilda (dress, stack of books)
Little Red Riding Hood (red cape/hood)
Angelina Ballerina (tutu, mouse face paint)
Mary Poppins (old fashioned dress, suitcase, umbrella)
Gangster Granny (white hair, face mask, sack of loot)
Lucy from Lion Witch and Wardrobe (vintage look dress and cardigan)
George from Famous Five (boys’ clothes)
Little Miss Moffet (plastic spider accessory)
NB: Of course there’s nothing to stop girls from going as boys and boys from going as girl characters, it only adds to the fun!
Easy Costumes to Adapt
Animal Masks/Tails/Character Suits or Onesies (Aslan, The Gruffalo, Maisy, Tiger who Came to Tea, Cats, loads of animals in fiction)
Princess (any of the fairytales e.g. Princess and the Frog, Sleeping Beauty etc.)
Pirate (Captain Hook, Long John Silver etc.)
Superhero (comic books)
Witch (The Worst Witch, The Witches, The Wizard of Oz etc)
King or Queen (Old King Cole, Queen of Hearts, Narnia etc)
Bible characters (sheets as robes etc, any number of characters to play)
Mr Men characters
Little Miss characters
The Wardrobe from Lion Witch and Wardrobe
The Cauldron from Asterix
The Golden Snitch from Harry Potter
The Butterfly from Very Hungry Caterpillar
A Crayon from The Day the Crayons Quit
Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat
Platform 9 and 3/4
Golden Ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
What are your kids wearing for World Book Day?