World Book Day – don’t panic, it’s not until 7th March – strikes fear into the hearts of parents across the UK on an annual basis. That is, unless you’re one of those parents who can’t be arsed and just uses one of these fab ideas instead:
From Our Very Own Mummy’s Gin Fund:


1. Online printable mask plus skeleton PJs = Funny Bones – Helen

2. Black trousers, stripy top, black hat and a mask = Burglar Bill – Alexandra

Alice Platt3. Greg the Wimpy Kid is the easiest ever!!! Also, Greg was brilliant as my then yr6 boy was a bit anxious about ‘dressing up’ and this gave him option to just look ‘normal’ and just carry the face – Alice

4. Get the costume First and then pick a book to match, rather than the other way around! Generally cheaper to buy the book than the costume! – Sheila

5. School uniform and witches hat = Worst Witch or Meg and Mog – Helen

6. Blue top and trousers. Cover them in bandages (or loo paper!) and plasters = Mr Bump – Rebecca

7. Amazon prime!!! Always amazon prime! – Sarah

8. A random hodgepodge of clothes that don’t go together = a wizard trying to dress like a muggle = Harry Potter – Cassandra

Andrea White9. Monkey costume in the dress up box = Chutney from Happy town and painted cardboard and printed face = Flat Stanley – Andrea

10. Red top, jeans, a bottle filled with water, fairy liquid, glitter, food colouring… and a wooden spoon. But be sure to seal the bottle. I think I put several layers of cling film over it before putting the lid on, and then superglued and sellotaped around it just to be sure! = George’s Marvellous Medicine – Marta

11. Cheap supermarket tank top, worn with flares jeans & t-shirt, accessorise with toy dog, toy compass, backpack, ginger beer etc = George from the Famous Five last year – Would work for loads of Enid Blyton characters (also re-used tank top for WW2 evacuee dress up day) – Tracy

12. Same colour clothes with contrasting pants over the top and an old Alice band with pipe cleaners and pompoms stuck on top = Aliens in Underpants – Olivia

13. Also, any party dress and a paper crown for any kind of princess. We did the princess and the pea a few years ago and she took a green painted paper plate labelled pea with her! – Olivia

Elizabeth Austin14. Both are literally all about the hair- Pippi Longstocking = two headbands kirby griped to the side of the head and plaited over. Maleficent = hair wrapped around a doodlebopper – Elizabeth

15. Leopard, cheetah or some similar print PJ bottoms and an old PE t-shirt with “I ate a shark” written on it. Should be flipflops as well, but not in March = Judy Moody – Sylwia

16. Grey school jumper, grey school trousers, some kind of metal saucepan / sieve / watering can = The Tin Man from The Wizard Of Oz – Kalpana

17. Granny clothes + burglar eye mask = Gangsta Granny – Precious

18. Red and white striped shirt, white skirt, hair in bunches = Amazing Grace – Rosa

19. Duffle coat, black hat, wellies, old suitcase and a marmalade sandwich = Paddington Bear – Nancy

20. White y-fronts (over trousers!) + red cape = Captain Underpants – Oliver

21. We literally just tied toy pots and pans round her with string and wore a toy colander on her head. She won the prize at school for best costume, even if she couldn’t sit down wearing it = Saucepan Man from the Faraway Tree – Kate

Susan Wardlow22. Odd non-matching clothes and odd trainers with a diary = Nicky from ‘Dork Diaries’ – Susan

23. Flowery dress with a white shirt underneath = Clarice Bean – Olubeda

24. Red t-shirt, black or navy skirt, witches hat: done! Can add the plait and wand, etc. if you want but not essential = The Witch from ‘Room on a Broom’ – Stephanie

25. Type in “… mask template” on Google and print off. Child can decorate themselves. Then add any costume pieces you may have already. We had to dress them for their first day back after Christmas! We did “Wow, Said the Owl” with PJs, owl wings we already had and a DIY mask. Done! – Lucie

26. Football kit and a cape = Super Soccer Boy – Elsa

Gemma Smith27. Furry onesie = Big Bad Wolf from Red Riding Hood – Gemma

28. White t-shirt with black dots drawn on it and a black nose = 101 Dalmatians – Faith

29. Ribbon tied at the top of head = Matilda – Sam

30. Blue gingham school dress, red socks or shoes, basket and a toy dog = Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz – Helen

31. Boy + dress = The Boy In The Dress – Ivy


Not wanting to leave anything to chance – #nomumleftbehind and all that – we asked some fellow parenting bloggers for their ideas:

32. Tintin has been our easiest one. You just need a white shirt, blue jumper and some hair gel or wax. We have a little white dog teddy that helps complete the look – householdmoneysaving.com

33. I always cheat and buy one from the supermarket. They aren’t expensive and if you buy a size up they can wear it a few years running! – fivelittledoves.com

34. My son went as Harry Potter for more years than I’d like to disclose – best £10 I’ve spent on a costume – ‪https://www.mamamighalls.com

truly madly kids35. My daughter was Petula Perpetual Motion from ‘World’s Worst Children’. Dead easy as it’s school uniform, my husband’s old school tie and former suit jacket of mine. I bought a boater from Amazon (this is an optional extra, but you may have one laying around the house!) – www.trulymadlykids.co.uk

36. Ridiculously simple this costume – you just need jeans and a red top and hey presto you are done! A spoon and a medicine bottle adds an extra touch too, but this is a really simple last minute Roald Dahl Day costume. https://twinderelmo.co.uk/2017/09/roald-dahl-day.html

37. Card board each side with shoulder straps and just write the title of a book on the front and mimic the back of the book too. (Or you could dress them as Jesus and send them with a life size cross – a boy did this at my sisters school) – jadeslongjourney.co.uk

38. Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – child in scruffy clothes with a golden pierce of paper made into a Wonka ticket – https://over40andamumtoone.com/…/surviving-world-book-day/

39. Sophie from The BFG – You only need PJs and a pair of glasses. My daughter came second place in her class contest with that outfit – yorkshiretots.com

40. We’re a bit naughty and never make them. We just raid the dressing up rail and usually just send her as a princess in a dress she already has! – lyliarose.com

41. My daughter went as ‘Shark in the Park’ and just wore her swim fin. Said swim fin was then borrowed by a friend for the same purpose a couple of weeks later! For some reason schools here just do book day when it suits, so surprise annoying costume day can be at any point! – http://edinburghwithkids.com

The Bear and the Fox42. It’s not really a children’s book, but last year my son dressed as Rob Roy (it was actually for Carnival rather than Book Day, but the theme was literary characters) – he already had a kilt and shirt anyway, so we just wrapped a spare piece of tartan fabric round his shoulders and fashioned a fake sporran and brooch out of cardboard. The sword was from our dressing up box – thebearandthefox.com

43. Last year we did ‘Topsy and Tim go to the doctors’ and just dressed our little guy in a lab coat! – themummytoolbox.com

44. A doctor’s costume is easy and there are a ton of books with doctors in! – themummytoolbox.com

45. We bought our son a Star Wars dressing gown and he frequently goes in as a cozy Jedi! (but you can use it year round, so it doesn’t go to waste) – themummytoolbox.com

mymummyspennies46. We teamed a lab coat with a disposable dust mask (available from most DIY stores- a surgical mask would be a good replacement but we couldn’t get hold of one of these) and his camping head touch then got out a bottle of Ketchup! http://www.mymummyspennies.com/2017/03/dressing-as-demon-dentist-for-world.html

47. The Worst Witch is my favourite; I used to dress up as Mildred when I was at school and my daughter loves the book now too! So easy because it is essentially school uniform! https://inspiregratitudemanifest.com

48. Re-use the costume your child wore for the nativity. The Bible is a book, right? – https://falcondalelife.com

49. Geal from the hunger games – Hoodie and a bow and arrow. Did my son for two years – notaneffingfairytaleblog.com

50. Anyone from Harry Potter – it’s school uniform, a stick for a wand and a cape – 10 points to Gryffindor for taping paper wings onto a Farrero Rocher to make a golden snitch! – Mummaandhermonsters.Com

Edspire51. Saucepan Man from The Magic Faraway Tree – load them up with all your kitchen utensils! Silky the Fairy from is easy too as most little girls own a tutu or fairy costume – edspire.co.uk

52. Get a dobby mask and cut up a pillow case: super cheap, quick and uber cute – https://www.babybudgeting.co.uk

53. Mine always want to go as superheroes in their normal state so Clarke Kent, Bruce Wayne! Suzanne Easton

54. Just need a striped top and woolly hat for ‘Where’s Wally’ – myboysclub.co.uk

55. Facepaint is always my fall back. My eldest went as the Grand Witch from Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’. Just bung on a black dress, gloves and boots – https://www.bluebearwood.co.uk

maxandmummy56. A crayon from the day the crayons quit! A bright coloured Top, party hat in the same colour and some punny placards. Took me 5 minutes to make and that included drinking a G&T – www.maxandmummy.co.uk


57. For my daughter’s first world book Day, aged 2, I just put her in a Gruffalo t-shirt –

58. If your little one does ballet then you will pretty much have this costumes sorted, simply add some cardboard ears to a headband and some whiskers on their face and you have a ready made Angelina Ballerina.  If they don’t do ballet no need to worry… A pair of cream, white or pink tights with a long sleeved top of a similar colour with their swimsuit over the top.  If they have a little tutu that pop that on too and hey presto you have a little ballerina – https://www.boorooandtiggertoo.com/make-world-book-day-costumes/ 

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Rachel Millington is a mum of two. In her spare time, she works in PR, hanging out with people who are all a good 10 years younger and a lot more glamorous than her, which is terribly good for the self-esteem. She also volunteers for Mind & MumsAid, because she very definitely believes that maternal mental health matters. She can be found tweeting (/ranting about politics) @rachmillington and is also charting her absolute hatred and despair of the weaning process on instagram @mummyledweaning (whoever said it was easier second time around LIED).