Looking for last minute costume ideas with the wow factor for World Book Day? We have you covered with loads of inspo!
We love books and reading at HoneyKids HQ (a visit to the library is always high on our list of things to do with the kids in Singapore!) So, of course, we are fans of World Book Day (or Book Week, as it is in some schools!). It’s a fantastic yearly event that works wonders in sparking the kids’ imaginations and instils a love of reading by way of donning a fabulous costume. Who doesn’t love dressing up, especially as your favourite storybook character?
If you’re stuck for World Book Day costume ideas and don’t want to send the kids to school as a Disney Princess or Marvel Superhero (do comic books count?). We hear you! Here’s a list of costume ideas and the books that go along with them. We’ve tried to stick with easily accessible materials like t-shirts and PJs – with a bit of pizazz, your little one can become their favourite book character!
Pssst… If specific book characters aren’t your kid’s thing, then an animal costume can be easily adapted to a storybook theme! Keep reading for all the inspo you need…
20+ easy World Book Day costumes for kids in Singapore
1. The Day the Crayons Quit (choose your favourite colour!)
We are huge fans of this hilarious book series, The Day the Crayons Quit. Our favourite colour is peach, but you can choose any of the crayon colours to dress up your little one. Maybe match their personality with one of the crayons in the book? All you need is a coloured t-shirt, a black fabric marker pen, and a party hat in the same colour as the t-shirt. Write ‘Crayon’ in an oval on the tee, and they can wear tights or shorts and sneakers on the bottom. This is a fun choice for a friend group, as you can all dress as different coloured crayons together!
2. A pyjama-clad Wild Thing!
If Pyjama Day is your kiddo’s favourite dress-up day at school, why not keep the theme going and dress up as Max from Where the Wild Things Are for World Book Day? All you need are pyjamas and a paper crown (hello, old Christmas crackers!). Bonus points if your little one is happy to carry along a monster stuffy or three to add to the tribe.
3. Aliens love underpants
If your kids are fans of this super cute and very funny story, then why not encourage an alien dress up for World Book Day! They can wear swimmers or undies over their tights if they are brave enough! Add face paint, coloured hairspray, and mixing and matching prints and colours to make for some crazy-looking aliens.
4. Witches and wizards – Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, or Room on the Broom
Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, or any of the Harry Potter witches and wizards are always popular costume choices on World Book Day! Best of all, you can order authentic Gryffindor capes from Amazon if you prepare early enough, and the kiddos can wear whatever they are comfortable in underneath. Bonus points for props like circular glasses, a golden snitch, or a knobbly-looking wand with sound effects (also available from Amazon). Another famous witch is the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz. An easy all-black ensemble, but can be a little tricky with the green face paint! If your little girl has lovely long hair, the witch from Room on the Broom just needs a witch’s hat, some stripy socks, and a long plait tied with a bow. Add a broom, and some animal stuffies, like a frog and a cat, to complete the look!
5. Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat
Head to Spotlight or an online party store for a blue wig; add black tights, a red t-shirt, a white piece of A4 paper and a black marker pen. Draw a black circle on the paper, write ‘Thing 1’ or ‘Thing 2’ in the centre, and cut the circle out. We laminated ours, but you can safety pin straight to the t-shirt. Works best if your little one can team up with a friend or sibling to be the other ‘Thing’. Extra fun if you can find a third kiddo to go as the Cat in the Hat to complete the trio!
6. Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Is your young fella not into dress-ups? Get away with this easy one; all you need is any old t-shirt and shorts, a piece of A4 paper, a black marker pen, and a paddle pop stick. Do your best to doodle Greg’s face on the paper, cut it out and stick it to the paddle pop stick as a mask your little one can hold. Extra points for comfort, and always a winner with those tricky tweens who are a bit ‘tool cool’ but still want to dress up!
7. The BFG
Roald Dahl‘s classic story of a giant who befriends a little orphan called Sophie is loved the world over. Jeans, a t-shirt and a vest, and most importantly, some big ears make for a great looking giant! To show the scale, add a prop of a little dolly ‘Sophie’, to show that your kiddo is the biggest BFG we ever did see!
8. The Gruffalo
This one is a more challenging costume for Book Week, but if done well, it can be loads of fun! Works best with a hairy brown cape, which you could probably makeshift from material at Spotlight. We even saw one classmate in a gilli suit! Follow the Gruffalo’s appearance with yellow sunglasses, purple prickles on the back (felt strips stuck to the fur cape), and a poisonous wart on the end of the nose!
9. The Lorax
If your kiddo has a keen focus on saving the planet and sustainability, The Lorax could be a fun costume for World Book Day. All you need is an orange t-shirt, green shorts, and an impressive yellow moustache! A fun prop for this one can be a little pot plant.
10. A real person – an inspiring scientist, astronaut or explorer from the ‘Rebel Boys and Girls’ books of real-life stories
World Book Day dress-ups don’t have to just be fictional characters! We are big fans of the hugely inspiring ‘Goodnight Stories for Rebel Boys and Girls’ series, which showcases real-life inspiring tales of intelligence and triumph over hardships. Why not have your kiddo pick their favourite scientist or explorer, and dress them in their honour for Book Week? Best of all, your kiddo can share the inspirational tales of their costume with their classmates, so everyone will learn a thing or two!
World Book Day animal costumes for kids – and the books to match!
11. Cat – Tabby McTat, Scarface Claw from Hairy Maclary, The Cat in the Hat
Take inspo from the characters performing in KidsFest, and dress up as Tabby McTat! A black skirt or tights, a red top, and don’t forget those whiskers! Add cute little cat ears (triangles of black and white felt taped to a headband will do the trick). For a fun cat tail, cut one leg from an old pair of tights and insert crumpled-up balls of old newspaper. Safety pin to the back of your little one, and they can swish their tail like a real feline!
12. Tiger – The Tiger Who Came For Tea, Shere Kahn from the Jungle Book
A simple orange t-shirt marked with felt tip pen black stripes, and some orange felt ears (Daiso, Spotlight) cut into triangles and glued to a headband, and you have yourself a tiger! Add fun props like a teacup for The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Older tigers might want to be a little scarier and decide to play Shere Kahn from The Jungle Book.
13. Lion – Wizard of Oz, Dear Zoo
Beige is the name of the day for a Lion – we found some neutral-coloured track pants at Zara and a cream-coloured top from Uniqlo. Again, add those felt triangle lion ears to a headband, add some face-painted whiskers and a black triangle nose, and your little one can be the scaredy lion from Wizard of Oz or the growly lion from Dear Zoo!
14. Monkey – Monkey Puzzle
Who doesn’t love Monkey Puzzle, the beloved story by Julia Donaldson? There are so many fun creatures in this story – from the helpful butterfly to the big grey elephant and the slithery snake, and all would make awesome Book Week costumes! The star of the story is the little monkey, and beige and brown tees and tights are the colours for this one! Add semi-circle felt ears taped to a headband, and your little one will be a little monkey on the hunt for mum!
15. Fox – Fantastic Mr Fox, The Gingerbread Man
If you have an orange t-shirt in the cupboard left over from last year’s tiger costume, then why not transform it into a fox this year? Add a pointy cardboard cylinder nose and some pointy ears, and your kiddo can be Fantastic Mr Fox! Alternatively, add a real gingerbread man prop and be the sly old fox who chases the little guy across the river – bonus points as your kiddo will get to enjoy the sweet treat at the end of the day!
16. Mouse – The Gruffalo
The fearless and clever mouse leading the Gruffalo through the woods is one of our most favourite characters, and happily enough, a mouse costume is easy peasy! Mice come in lots of colours, so white, beige or brown work best. Semi-circle ears, a little cylindrical pointy nose, and some face paint whiskers, along with a ribbon tail, and you have a mouse! A ball of brown crepe paper makes for a good ‘nut’ prop.
17. Rabbit – Rabbit’s Nap, Tortoise and the Hare
As Book Week is happening in the lead-up to Easter, it’s easy enough to find some bunny ears at Cold Storage or Daiso. Team these with a simple white t-shirt and leggings, and don’t forget a fuzzy bunny tail (even some bundled-up tissue works well for this!). Use your eyeliner to draw on a little bunny nose and whiskers, and you have yourself a rabbit from the beloved Julia Donaldson story, Rabbit’s Nap.
18. Caterpillar – The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Got a green t-shirt and leggings on hand? Crack out the red face paint, add some sunglasses, and maybe a headband with antennae, and you have yourself a very hungry caterpillar! Add some pillows under the tee for a chubbier look. Fun prop inspo can be taken from the foods the caterpillar eats – cardboard cakes and lollipops, a cucumber, a sausage, and a piece of cherry pie. You can also stick some paper fruit to your kiddo’s tummy – four strawberries, five oranges, etc. You can even add butterfly wings for a fun transformation at your little one’s whim!
19. Pig – Hide and Seek Pig, Three Little Pigs, Winnie the Pooh
Have you got a cardboard egg carton on hand? Cut one out, paint it pink, add two black dots, and you have yourself a little piggy nose! Pink felt triangle ears, a pink tee and tights, and your kiddo can transform into an adorable piglet. There are lots of fun stories featuring little piggies, so they can take their pick! Don’t forget to add a little curly tail to the tights – we used a pipe cleaner, but be careful it doesn’t spike them in the bottom when they sit down (yes, this has happened to us).
20. Spider – Charlotte’s Web
All it takes is a black t-shirt and tights, and eight of those old stocking newspaper-filled legs, safety pinned or stitched to the tee and tights, and you have yourself a fun hairy spider! Charlotte’s Web is a classic story starring this creepy crawlie, or your little one might want to say they are the spider from Monkey Puzzle. For extra cool factor, add sunglasses. Break out the old Halloween decorations and add some wispy spider web to the shoulders for a little extra fanciness!
Enjoy dressing up the kiddos and celebrating World Book Day!