General Chatter, The Week in Books

World Book Day Costumes | The Do’s and Don’ts


By Sarah Kneath.

It’s coming close to that time of year again. The day parents up and down the country discuss in hushed tones in quiet corners, shuddering over the ghosts of World Book Day past. Sadly, for most parents, the days when children were just given a voucher and had a book fair are done, it’s all about the costumes these days. Now, before you go delving into the dressing up box in a blind panic, here are some handy tips to help you get prepared.

  • Do make sure you got the date correct – the only thing worse than your child turning up in uniform on the day when you’ve spend hours piecing something together, is them dressed as The Cat in the Hat on an ordinary school day. You can find out the date here.
  • Don’t forget that they have to wear the outfit all day, so keep it practical folks. Whilst the inflatable dinosaur costume looks great, bear in mind your child will be sat at a desk and negotiating around T-Rex heads while trying to write may be tricky.
  • Don’t be too obscure. No kid is going to want to explain to their classmates that they’re dressed as Gabelle from A Tale of Two Cities when they could have been Ron Weasley.
  • Do visit your local charity shops for your costume needs – not only will you find some cool stuff, you’ll be giving a little to help a good cause too. (NB: Particularly helpful for any Gangsta Granny outfits…)
  • Do get your child involved in creating/designing the costume. This shouldn’t just be down to you to sort out. Plus, this way you can get them excited and interested in the cause at the same time and spend quality time together. Ahhh…
  • Don’t leave it until the last minute – no one needs to be getting the glue gun and tin foil out at 10pm the night before. That’s a recipe for disaster and burned fingers.
  • Do some research on book characters that wear “normal clothes”. Think Horrid Henry, Matilda or Sophie from “The Tiger Who Came to Tea” – that way your costs will be minimal.
  • Don’t spend a fortune, sounds pretty simple but at the end of the day, this is about raising money for a fantastic cause, encouraging children to get more involved in reading and celebrating books. Not, as some might believe, getting one-up on the other parents for winning the Best Costume of the day.
  • Remember, they don’t have to be handmade – there is absolutely no shame in buying the costume. Needlework and arts and crafts is not for everyone so don’t beat yourself up over it.
  • Do remember that there are a lot of characters that just wear pyjamas. Keep it simple and choose one of those for ease of costume-designing.
  • But don’t forget with the above that it’s early March – so maybe chuck a couple of layers on underneath so they don’t freeze in the playground at break time!
  • Do double up – got a leftover Halloween costume that can be re-purposed, use it! Save your pennies or if you can, donate a little extra to the charity.
  • Don’t worry about recycling old costumes from any older siblings. No one will remember what your son or daughter was wearing 2 years ago!

What are you or your little ones dressing up as this year? Tell us in the comments below.

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