One-stop guide to great World Book Day ideas for costumes and activities

Our favourite day of the year is almost here – hooray! World Book Day is about so much more than a snazzy costume, it’s a chance for us all to celebrate the brilliance of books by thinking about why we love them, talking about them and reading plenty of them too.

Whether you’re celebrating on 7th March or in the weeks before or after, we’ve put together this guide full of ideas about exciting ways to celebrate. From costumes and crafts, to word puzzles, drawing and recipes we’re certain you’ll find plenty of ideas to keep the kids happy and excited about books.

Easy World Book Day costume ideas

5 children dressed as book characters for World Book Day, against a blue background


It’s the dress up day you either love or hate! But the truth is it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are lots of easy ways to create World Book Day costumes using clothes your kids already own, plus a few cardboard props.

To make things even easier we’ve created a download with 40+ costume ideas that won’t break the bank. Find out how to get hold of the download here.

We know that some schools set themes for their dress up days, or even ask students to come dressed as a word which the teachers have to guess. We’re confident our guide will give you a great starting point, outlining simple techniques you can use to represent any character!


The £1 World Book Day books

The 2024 World Book Day £1 book covers


We’re always so excited to see which authors and illustrators the lovely people at World Book Day have asked to make their special £1 books. Our children love taking the free book token they’re given at school to our local bookshop and making their choices. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that we’re usually convinced to buy a few extras too!

This year’s line-up of authors includes some of our all-time favourites and we expect to have a tricky time choosing which books to take home. If you’re in need of help, check out our top picks and recommendations from the World Book Day books for 2024 collection.


Fun craft and creative projects for World Book Day

Whether you’re dressing up or not there are loads of creative ways in which you can celebrate your favourite books and authors for World Book Day. Whether it’s a fun activity at home or something to enjoy in school, we particularly love these ideas:

Make potato book characters

4 potatoes painted and decorated to resemble book characters


Do you think you could you turn a simple spud into your favourite book character? We’ve share instructions and some fun ideas to get you started here.

Draw like a book illustrator

Draw-along videos are a staple in our house. The kids love to see each amazing character emerge as their favourite illustrators give them step-by-step instructions on hope to create them.

Perhaps the most famous is Rob Biddulph, who captured the nation’s hearts with his daily drawings during lockdown. You can follow all his tutorials here.

Other favourites you can find on YouTube include Allen Fatimaharan, Sarah HorneTom McLaughlin, Steve Lenton and Nick Sharratt.


Create wooden spoon book characters

Book character story spoons


This tutorial caught our attention and we love the fact that you can use the finished product for some interactive storytelling!

Book-themed activity ideas to enjoy at home or at school

Child with craft and drawing activities in front of them


We know not every kids loves to get creative (and plenty of adults don’t relish the mess of crafting with kids). There still plenty of activities to get involved in which don’t require any glue or paints!

Free printable World Book Day activities from Parrot Street Book Club

We’ve created a fantastic writing-themed word search, a drawing template and a book character bingo game which are free to print and play. Find all the details here.

Official World Book Day activities

The World Book Day website is a hub of ideas and inspiration for celebrating the power of story-sharing. You'll find details of events, videos, activities, reading recommendations and more to keep you busy for hours.

More children's book activities on the web

There are some fantastic book-ish online resources out there. Why not start by heading over to the British Library's Discovering Children's Books YouTube playlist? It includes short videos and mini tutorials from some of our favourite authors and illustrators, including Katherine Rundell, Axel Scheffler and Michael Rosen.

A lot of children’s book publishers also put really fun activities, related to their books on their websites. So if you have a favourite series, why not search for the publisher and see what delights you can uncover?

You may also like to check out the links on this page, which we put together to keep the kids busy during the school holidays a few years ago and which are perfect for World Book Day too!


Get cooking for World Book Day

If your kids are like ours, they’ll love nothing more than the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and cook up a storm for World Book Day.

Make book character gingerbread cookies

Plate of gingerbread cookies decorated like book day characters


This is a really fun activity, which gives kids the opportunity to make their favourite characters in edible form. We’ve shared the recipe and full instructions here.

Make a bento box lunch for World Book Day

Lost and Found themed bento lunch box


We love these book-themed bento boxes – perfect for a World Book Day lunchbox! Will you create one for the kids or perhaps task them with coming up with their own?


Have a very happy World Book Day, bookworms! We’d love to see what you get up to, so don’t forget to tag us in your photos on social media using #parrotstreetlife

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