Fear not my fellow mums, World Book Day is almost here again and although I know these three little words are enough to strike fear into the heart of most parents, these tips and tricks should help give you a stress-free World Book Day!
After taking part in World Book Day activities for well into double figures – I knew three children was a bad idea! – I opt for a stress free and often budget friendly option. I really hate to see waste too, so purchasing an outfit for one day gives me hives. You should see the rant I make every year about Christmas Jumper Day!!!!!
Anyway I digress.
Costume First and Use What You Already Have
First find the costume, then find the book to match. It is so much easier this way. Simply just look at what you already have, or what your children would like to wear and then hit good old Mr. Google.
- Your son likes football and wants to go in his kit,? Easy peasy. Football With Dad by Frank Berrios or for older children Unbelievable Football by Matt Oldfield and Ollie Mann.
- Got a striped shirt? Just add shorts plus a hankie or suchlike for a bandana and you have a pirate. Easy peasy. And there are loads of pirate books out there to choose from. Have a look at the Jonny Duddle books for younger readers, or a foolproof classic like Treasure Island.
- Alice bands are great for making loads of head pieces such as ears and books with animal characters are endless.
We did Tweedledum and Tweedledee one year, easy peasy – striped tops, shorts and school shoes, braces and a massive cushion!!!!! Plus a friend to go with!
Fact or Fiction
The books don’t have to be fiction. There are loads of non fiction books out there to fit pretty much any character. Also remember, children don’t have to go as a character from a book which is age related to them either. Look at younger age related books for plenty of brilliant character ideas.
Raid Your Existing Dress Up Box
Use the fancy dress outfits you already have. Superheroes, princesses, witches, Disney characters, Halloween outfits or old Nativity costumes are all a great way to take the stress out of World Book Day. Plus, books are super easy to find with all these in.
Failing that, go in your pyjamas, there are loads of characters who spend entire storylines in their PJ’s. Think Sophie from The BFG or the Darling family children from Peter Pan. With so many themed pyjamas out there this also opens up other opportunities.
Onesies are great….So many kids have animal onesies these days it is easy to find a book character to fit in. Dog – 101 Dalmatians. Tiger – The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Bear – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Couldn’t be much easier.
Beg Borrow and Steal
This is my favourite tip of all time. Go through the wardrobes of all those family members and ask all your Mum friends. Failing that just get on social media and put a shout out for anything you need. You will be surprised what people have at home. I am all for recycling and this is definitely a win in my book. Last year saw my son Dylan re-use an outfit from my assistant’s fox-loving son, who had already dressed up as Fantastic Mr Fox on more than one World Book Day. Add a spot of face paint and bingo. Excuse the grumpy face, I told him not to smile!!!
Face Paints are Your Friend
We invested in some face paints years ago and they are still going strong (although probably well past their use by date, this is totally fine on your own children!). You will also need some make up sponges and you can use your existing make up brushes, just give them a good wash out afterwards. Unless you like bright red or orange accents on your face that is! Now I am reasonably good with face paint after having years of practice and willing volunteers, but you really don’t have to be. Look at the designs you want to achieve, keep them simple, work in blocks of colour and start with the lighter colours first. You can blend sections together using the sponges. Even simpler are whiskers and an animal nose!
Paper and Card
Printing props or cutting out accessories from paper and card is a simple and cheap way to identify characters. Golden tickets, swords, hats, masks you can even cut out glasses if your character needs them. This totally eliminates a whole lot of sewing stress as you can use anything to join pieces together, string, glue, sticky tape. As long as you avoid the staple gun when near you children you will be fine!!! You can even draw the character on a large piece of paper or box and hang it from your child in a sandwich board type affair. This works particularly well for Mr. Men characters which of course are loved by all ages. Although maybe this is just me!
You can even raid the children’s craft supplies. We always seem to have a tonne of unused buttons, glitter, pens and paints and I am not sure I know where half of it has come from!
Don’t Be Afraid to Magpie
All out of ideas? Just take to the internet and borrow somebody else’s idea. There are plenty of ideas out there and you can pick and choose the ones which suit your pre-existing wardrobe and fancy dress box!
Not a Fan of Dressing-Up?
Some children do not enjoy the dressing up part of World Book Day and that in itself can be tricky. However, there are plenty of books with characters that are regular kids, so minimal costume is involved. Just let them wear their own clothes – then the choice of books is limitless! I’m thinking Charlie Bucket – just give them a bar of chocolate, or a piece of gold coloured card. Or Matilda – a dress, a hairband and a pile of books.
Finally – Don’t Stress
Make sure you just take charge and don’t let the little ones decide. That way you won’t be faced with sewing 3001 sequins on a mermaid outfit the night before or panicking about finding a specific elaborate outfit off Amazon at great expense. This will give you a definite win for a stress-free World Book Day. You just have to convince them your idea is amazing! Lets face it, little Jonny won’t see his own face past the initial mirror check. It will most probably be wiped off all down the teaching assistant’s clothes by mid morning anyway! Costumes will all be forgotten past the initial walk to school and items quickly get removed or broken come first break anyway!
Keeping things cost effective means that you can spend the money on the books themselves or a trip to the library. Isn’t that what World Book Day is all about? Books!!!
A Stress-free World Book Day by Samphire Photography