14 World Book Day costume hacks for frantic parents that won’t break the bank

World Book day is a highlight in the calendar for many children, but for parents, finding a costume can be a nightmare.

In primary schools across the UK it is tradition for youngsters to dress up as their favourite character from a book.

This means each year parents are on the hunt for the perfect costume in time for the celebrations on March 3.

READ MORE: How ‘remarkable’ school came together for little girl after her devastating diagnosis

Former primary school teacher Becky Cranham of education resource experts PlanBee has a host of brilliant hacks for some of the most popular characters in children’s literature.

They include:

1. Bruce Bogtrotter (Matilda by Roald Dahl)
Dress in a school uniform (or as close as possible) and grab a big chocolate cake from the shops. Smear chocolate all over your child’s shirt (and face). Voila!

2. Matilda (Matilda by Roald Dahl)
Pop a red ribbon in your child’s hair and bundle a stack of books together with string or a belt. Easy peasy.

3. Charlie Bucket (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)
All you need is a great big golden ticket to hang around you’re your youngster’s neck. Grab a big piece of yellow paper and write out their very own invitation to visit Willy Wonka!

The golden ticket is a key part of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
The golden ticket is a key part of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

4. The Boy in the Dress (David Walliams)
Grab a dress and a football and your son is good to go.

5. Sophie (The BFG by Roald Dahl)
Put on a nightie or a pair of pyjamas and make a quick dream jar using a jam jar, glitter and some fairy lights.

6. Where’s Wally? (Martin Handford)
If you have a stripy top, a bobble hat and a pair of glasses, your child can spend all day standing around with no one being able to find them. What’s not to like?

Where’s Wally? is a hugely popular dress-up choice for children on World Book Day

7. The Cat in the Hat (Dr Seuss)
Dress your child in black and make a tall red and white hat from paper or card. If you’re feeling extra enthusiastic, a cat nose and whiskers painted on with eyeliner will complete the look.

8. Beegu (Alexis Deacon)
If you happen to be the kind of person who has yellow leggings and t-shirts lying around, then Beegu might be a good option. Just dress your youngster in yellow and make some long, floppy yellow ears from card.

9. Mr Bump or Little Miss Whoops (Roger Hargreaves)
This one’s for the tots: dress them in blue, wrap them in bandages and stick on some plasters. Loo roll will suffice if you don’t happen to have meters of bandages in the bathroom cupboard.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released in November 2001 - 20 years ago!
Here's Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in November 2001 – 20 years ago! Here’s Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger

10. The Paper Dolls (Julia Donaldson)
Borrow a school uniform (or as close to as you can get) and make a paper chain of dolls for your child to wear around their neck.

11. Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)
You don’t always need full-on wizard regalia to dress us as Harry Potter. He spent most of his childhood dressed as a muggle. Just find a pair of thick-rimmed glasses and draw a scar on your child’s head.

12. The Pevensie Children (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis)
Pick one of the four Pevensies, then pop a box on a piece of string, write an evacuee ID card and you have a World Book Day costume that will be the envy of all Narnia.

The iconic lonely tree at Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, looking towards Snowdonia

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13. Flying Fergus (Chris Hoy)
This is perfect for keen cyclists: pop on a a helmet and any other cycling kit you can find, and you’re ready to go.

14. Saucepan Man (The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton)
Stick a colander on your child’s head and attach a bunch of pots and pans to their body. They might not be able to sit down but they’ll look terrific.

Who will your children be dressing up as? Let us know in the comments below.

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