- Holidays and Celebrations
World Book Day Costumes For Children
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?
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:
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:
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'
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
Look at this huge list of kids book characters...
- Kids Book Character Ideas - Ideal for Book Week, or World Book Day
This page contains a huge amount of kids book character costumes
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
More Links That May Help...
- World Book Day, Childrens Books, Book Tokens, Book Aid International, Quick Reads, Readathon, Bookse
World Book Day, a celebration of books and reading. Sponsored by National Book Tokens. Take part in Readathon, encouraging children to read books.
- European Standard EN71
Some more information to help you understand the current legislation involving childrens fancy dress
- Kids Costumes Costume Discussion Group
Join this discussion group where you can post your childrens costume requests and give us your opinions.
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.