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World Book Day Costumes For Children

Updated on September 17, 2014

World Book Day Costumes For Children

World Book day is now entering its 6th decade and support for it is growing year on year. In 2015 it falls on the 6th March in the UK and Ireland. Schools have to be registered and will tend to approach this day (or sometimes a week) differently. Some schools will have a visiting book seller, others will invite a story teller and a growing number will encourage their pupils to come dressed as their favourite book character. This is where this lens will help you, it will give you plenty of childrens book character fancy dress ideas that your child can dress up as and links where you can find the costumes, or some ideas on how you could put the costume together simply. It is also based on popular book characters for children in UK and some of these ideas may not work if you are somewhere else in the world. I would also like to point out that the suggestions on this page are designed for Primary School age children only.

So if you are like one of the many parents who come into our fancy dress shop saying that they need a book character costume for their child and they do not have any ideas, this lens will help you, if you are still needing more costume inspiration for world Book day Ideas, then check out our information on our main website which has even more kids world Book Day Costume Ideas

You can also contact us at the shop, 7 days a week for advice.

The Moment of Panic!

Yes, we've all been there! Your child produces a crumpled letter that they have managed to keep hidden for the last 2 weeks. They have to be in a book character costume in 3 days time and you can't sew, or haven't got time to sort it out? Aaaaaaaah.

Take a deep breath.

Not only will this lens give you some ideas so that you can easily put a costume together, it will also give you a list of potential book characters and a selection of childrens costumes that are available to purchase for next day delivery.

What do you think?

Do you agree with your kids dressing up for World Book Day?

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First of all lets look at some easy options

When you are putting a costume together it may be best to involve your child in the creative process - nothing worse than spending time making something they refuse to wear! In addition, please make sure:

It is not too long and becomes a trip hazard

Visability is not lost

That you do not use flammable materials such as cotton wool

It is comfortable to wear all day long

Face Bobs

Face Bobs are an easy way to put a costume together very cheaply. Face bobs are a type of mask that fits over the child (or adult's) head like an alice band. They may have ears (if applicable) and a nose. Some of them may even make the noise of the animal in question. The great thing about face bobs is that they do not impair vision and are comfortable to wear for long periods. You are also able to eat, drink and speak whilst wearing this mask.

Face Bobs are available in:

Dog-Cat-Mouse-Duck-Cow-Sheep-Zebra-Lion-Tiger-Elephant-Pig-Fox-Owl--Parott-Chicken-Bear


All you need to do is add clothes that match the colour of the animal or bird and you have that book character - see book character ideas

How To Put Together a Prince Charming Costume

Make Your Own Prince Charming

You will need:

Some old net or lace; White school shirt; Long trousers; Cardboard, Tin Foil, Elastic or ribbon

Tuck long trousers into white football socks or cut them off below the knee and sew some elastic into the hem. Use an old piece of net curtain (or lace), cut into three pieces (one larger than the other two). The largest piece of net needs to be sewn at one end loosely and then pulled, so that it gathers together then attach a piece of elastic.

Take a white school shirt and put the elastic underneath the collar, this will give the effect of a jabot. The other two pieces of net will be used as cuffs. You have two choices, either sew the net to the underside of the shirt cuff or sow onto elastic which will go round the wrist.Cut two squares of cardboard (about 3" square). Make a note of the middle of each square and cut a rectangle out from each side. Cover one side in tin foil. Use ribbon or elastic tie the 'shoe buckle' around a pair of school shoes.For a finished effect you could use some gold or glitzy fabric to tie as a sash around the waist.

Did you know that kids fancy dress must have the latest CE mark???

The CE Mark & What This Means

Childrens fancy dress is governed by different guidelines to those of adults. All kids fancy dress costumes must pass a strict set of tests which include flammability and choking risk.

Most parents and teachers are unaware that childrens' bought costumes must adhere to this regulation. You will tend to find that kids costumes will fall into standard categories such as pirates etc. It will be difficult to purchase a kids costume for a specific character such as James Bond.

The actual legislation regarding the EU legislation is very complicated and would take pages and pages to explain fully. If you are interested in looking into this in more detail, I have included a link further down the page.

Dennis The Menace - From a comic 'book'

Dennis The Menace - From a comic 'book'
Dennis The Menace - From a comic 'book'

Book Characters

Some children's books and some costume suggestions.

The Fox & The Cat: Fox & Cat costumes are available but you could easily use a face bob for either of these characters.

Hare & The Tortoise: It will be difficult do make or find a tortoise costume for this Aesop Fable (although you could use a large piece of oval cardboard with a tortoise shell design drawn on it) and for the Hare use a rabbit costume or face bob - the distinguishing feature is a rabbit generally has shorter ears, but just say you are a short hared rabbit!

Lion & The Mouse: Two main costumes, the lion and the mouse. Again, a face bob can make this an easy costume to make yourself or lion and mouse costumes are available to hire or purchase

Goldilocks & The Three Bears. For Goldilocks you could use a party dress with a cape and a small basket. Just add a brown top and trousers to a bear face bob for one of the three bears.

Red Riding Hood: There are many variations of this costume on the market to purchase. If you do not want to buy a costume just use a red dress and make a small cape from a piece of red fabric.

Great Kids Books on Amazon

Childrens Books Available on Amazon

Snow White: It is probably easier to buy this costume unless you are a wiz with the needle! Other characters include The Wicked Queen (later a Witch/Hag - any witch costume will do) and the handsome Prince for the boys.

Prince Charming: This character is found in many fairytale books and with the popularity of Shrek, it has become a 'must have' costume for boys. Costumes are available to purchase but you can easily put a costume together.

3 Little Pigs: Hard to get a costume, so face bobs may be the only answer.

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe: This story is set in the 1940s, so an evacuee type of costume would be great for Lucy. Lion costumes are available for Aslan or use a face bob. To keep to the story, a Witch costume needs to be white, so maybe adapt an angel costume.

Puss-n-Boots: In the past, thanks to panto, this has been regarded as an outfit for females, but thanks to the Shrek films, the outfit is valid for both male and female.

The Cat in the Hat: Another popular feline - all you need is a cat costume, a tall red/white stripe hat (which you may be able to buy, if not make) and don't forget the bowtie!

Alice in Wonderland: This book gives many costume choices. Alice just needs a blue dress with a Victorian style pinafore and an Alice band. The White Rabbit can be easily put together using a face bob and white clothes. The Queen of Hearts can wear a dress covered with hearts and a crown. The King of Hearts could be dressed like the Prince Charming but covered in hearts and wearing a crown.

Harry Potter: A very popular choice with children at the moment. Harry Potter kits and costumes are available to purchase but you can purchase a cheap halloween cape and some glasses to get the effect.

The Worst Witch: Any witch costume will do for this character.

Watership Down: A rabbit costume or face bob

The Lord of The Rings: This may be a little old for Primary School children but costume kits are available to purchase for Frodo

Dracula: Quite popular with boys, who do not want to look silly at school. Dracula is quite a cool character. Costumes are available to purchase but can be put together quite easily using black trousers, white shirt, bow tie and some make up. A cape can either be made from some black material or a cheap one can be purchased.

Meg & Mog: Two main characters are a witch and a cat.

Peter Pan: Peter Pan gives lots of character options. Peter Pan himself is normally depicted wearing green top and trousers but there are some good costumes available to buy. Captain Hook, the villain of the story, is very popular with boys. Many costume variations are available. A standard pirate can also be worn by girls and boys as Smee and the other pirates on Captain Hook's ship. Tinkerbell is the girl's favourite. A green fairy costume or a green dress with wings will suffice. Other characters include: The Darling children - Wendy, Michael and John, Mermaids and Indians, notably the young female Tiger Lily .

Pinocchio: A story of a puppet that comes to life. A costume is available to buy and is probably easier than trying to put this costume together.

Snow Queen: The hugely popular Disney film Frozen was based on this children's story, so chances are that your daughter may be keen to choose this character.

And more book character ideas. Some are not strictly childrens books, but if you are desperate...

Winnie The Witch - Witch costume

Wizard of Oz - Dorothy (if you want to be a smarty pants, in the book her shoes were silver - they were only 'ruby red' in the MGM film!), Lion, Scarecrow, Witch & Tin Man

James & the Giant Peach - Bug costumes

The Railway Children - Edwardian costumes

The Famous Five - 1940s costumes

Aladdin - Although the Aladdin panto is usually based in China, the Disney version is more true to the origins of the story in 1001 Arabian Nights' Principal characters - Aladdin (plus magic lamp), Genie, wicked uncle Abanazer and the Princess.

The Witches - Witch costumes

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory - Schoolboy costume and Willy Wonka could wear a Victorian man costume with flamboyant hat and walking cane.

Doctor Dolittle - Victorian man costume and animals

Just William - School boy outfit.

Lizzie Dripping - Witch

Bible - Nativity costumes & Angel costumes

The Snowman - Snowman costumes

The Indian in the Cupboard - Indian Costumes

Oliver Twist - Victorian Costumes

A Christmas Carol - Victorian & ghost costumes

Hamlet - Hamlet (Prince of Denmark) usually holds a skull (that of Yorrick, a jester from his childhood)

Julius Caesar - Roman costumes

A Midsummer's Night Dream - Grecians, fairies and supernaturals

King Lear -King & medieval costumes

Frankenstein - Frankenstein monster costume. 'Frankenstein's Bride' was a creation of the movies.

Jungle Book - Assorted animal costumes

You May Find What You Need On eBay...

If you have a brilliant idea for kids book character costume please leave them here for others to see.

Reader Ideas

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wizard of oz dorothy

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: cinderella oh wait you r a boy lol ROFL

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: you could try mulan from a good girls book

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      what is this

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this was really helpful!!!

    • Paki Bazar profile image

      Paki Bazar 5 years ago

      nice topic i enjoyed it reading

      keep it up

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Nice idea ... very informative Thanks for the fun costume lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What wonderful fun and a great way to reinforce learning!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      The prince charming outfit would also work for Little Lord Fauntleroy (skip the hat). Lots of good ideas here. In the U.S. schools sometimes opt for the dress-as-a-book-character for Halloween to avoid the objections to witches and really scary, gory costumes.

    • profile image

      WallpaperMan 6 years ago

      I liked your lens

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 6 years ago

      Excellent ideas here! Used to be a school library manager and always had lots of fun on World Book Day. Harry Potter costumes were always popular!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      what shall i wear i have world book day tomorrow and i don't even know what to wear and by the way i am in year 7

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      you don't need to spend money you can just get a purple top black leggings and your dads top that's big then cut a cloak out of it and put it all together BANG! you've got an outfit without spending money at all

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      please help me i need an outfit for thursday!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi im looking for and outfit for world book day for a 9 year old girl what do u suggest???

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You could try Wally from Where's wally?

      All you need is:

      3D glasses

      Navy/black trousers

      Shoes

      Red&White striped t-shirt

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, yes thats a good idea, you don't need to buy anything its just as good using your own clothes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      my daughter is dressing up as amelia jane from the enid blighton books..we are using her own red dress and shoes ..do u think this is a good idea??

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      u could try fern from charlottes web

    • profile image

      RBUK 6 years ago

      Excellent Lens here with lots of fantastic fancy dress ideas. The Dennis the Menace costume in particular is a personal favourite. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work. Ryan @ 80's Fancy Dress

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      lola costumes where are they do you know thanks abbey rawlings

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i really loved this website and hese are some great ideas so hopefully my twins will make it easier on me by decideing to wear the same things and being the same character.!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i do not know what to dress up in

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Nice costumes! Hope you could add more information about the World Book Day. 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Mr t, Captin jack sparrow,James Bond, POLICEMAN,sorry no more at the moment?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Free books for world book day with every purchase at My Mini Monsters. co. uk ,

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My kids wont like these ideas but its good. They want to dress up more decent and posh you see, but i liked the work.I wish the schools would give a bit more notice,we don't all have £50 to spend a costume that's only going to be used handful of times. The school's should spend like 5 minutes of there time so they can tell the children some idee's like snow white or sleeping beauty or spiderman, then the children won't be confused and puzzle of what they should where plus it's a parents job to decide to, but the schools's should really give some idea's.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      just an idea for left over halloween costumes,skeleton=funny bones books witch=meg n mog fairy =midsummer nights dream, i do think the schools should give a bit more notice to these days,not all parents can afford costumes,more so if they have a few children at school.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      im trying to look for an alice and the wonderland outfit 10-11 any websites ?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      that would be great idea

      http://www.mytwitteradder.com

    • profile image

      wotnix 7 years ago

      Great work, Check out my lens too, http://www.squidoo.com/freebook-everyday

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Im a mum of a 9 year old daughter i really love the idea of dressing up for world book day but i really wish the schools would give a bit more notice, we don't all have £20 to spend a costume that's only going to be used a handful of times, as a student I can't afford it and if I had a bit more notice I would make something.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What shall i dress up as except from a pirate becoz im tomboy

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      heya!school costumes are really hard to find!I will have to look at every shop in the country to find the perfect one!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      she could be sleeping beauty!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      tell her to be hamyyne [in reply to bex]

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      im in year 6 and my mum always makes my costume their better i find

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      you need to find what books she likes then find her fav charicter[in reply to bex]

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i don't no what to dress up as its on thursday 5th march my school is arundel court junoir school

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I presume you mean Tinkerbell?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Well try something like erm... little red riding hood or somthink lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      micky mouse

    • AdeleW profile image
      Author

      AdeleW 8 years ago

      [in reply to bex] It is very difficult without knowing her size and what sort of thing she would like. I think the thing to remember is that she does need to work at school and be comfortable. I do not think you can go wrong with the Red Riding Hood outfit. It is cheap to buy and comes with a top and skirt with belt, so quite flexible for sizing. It also comes with a cape. If you want to see this costume, check out our web site on http://www.props-n-frocks.co.uk - click on the children's section in the left hand navigation and then girls costumes. You will see a long list of costumes that may be suitable.

      Hope she has a nice day!

      Adele

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      hi my little sister wants to dress up and doesn't know what to be ... she is 8.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Twinkle Bell

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thank you this has really helped

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i don't have a cloe what to wear i go to primary school and my classw has to wear a carecter from a dfantasyb book

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      for twins one dress up as Tweedle Dee and the other Tweedle Dum

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i still don't know what to dress up as :-s

      got any ideas for tweedles dum and dee?

    • chirundu lm profile image

      chirundu lm 8 years ago

      Great Lens (5 stars) and one of my favourite topics as I also have a lens on The World Book Day

      I would be grateful if you could check it out, let me know what you think and leave a comment if you wish.

    • chirundu lm profile image

      chirundu lm 8 years ago

      Great Lens (5 stars) and one of my favourite topics as I also have a lens on The World Book Day

      I would be grateful if you could check it out, let me know what you think and leave a comment if you wish.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      You're officially blessed!

      We should do all we can to encourage kids to read!

    • drhuizenga1 profile image

      drhuizenga1 9 years ago

      I'll keep this lens in mind for my grandkids. Yet another creative and impressive lens. 5 stars.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      The more of your hubs I peruse the more fascinated I am by your creativity and flexibility. World Book day! Great for parents and kids alike. Why shouldn't learning be a game?

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      The more of your hubs I peruse the more fascinated I am by your creativity and flexibility. World Book day! Great for parents and kids alike. Why shouldn't learning be a game?

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      indie kidd

    • profile image

      DeerFeederHelper 9 years ago

      Great ideas

    • chirundu lm profile image

      chirundu lm 9 years ago

      Great lense 5 stars :-) take a look at mine sometime: Fancy Dress Ideas