With Book Week on its way, there's a good chance that your children will be asked to dress up as their favorite literary character by teachers. And, even if your little ones are too young to be in school, dressing up and acting out stories is a great way to foster a love of reading in even the youngest of children. No matter the setting, the best Book Week costumes for kids are the ones that come from the heart: A book that your child truly loves. Here are some of our favorites.
Older children who have enjoyed J.K. Rowling's landmark series will love the chance to dress up as one of their heroes from the books. Whether it's Harry, with his round glasses and lightning bolt scar, or Hermione, with her trademark frizzy hair and school robes, it's easy to cobble together a realistic costume from items found in secondhand shops or even from around your home. Remember: Book Week costumes for kids don't need to be complicated for children to have fun.
What literary roundup would be complete without a mention for dear Dr. Seuss? Thanks to his many books, your children would have a bevy of characters to choose from. If they like playing the villain, some green felt and a frown would make a passable Grinch, while a sweet disposition, pajamas and braided blond hair makes a Cindy Lou Who. Of course, red onesies and blue hair, paired with a paper disc declaring "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" would be an excellent choice for twins, siblings or even best friends at school.
What would we do without the tales of "Matilda," "Fantastic Mr. Fox" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?" And, thanks to the amazing descriptive imagery that Dahl uses in all his books, his characters make for excellent Book Week costume ideas. A fox costume can be made easily with a fox mask and a long, fluffy tail, while Oompa Loompas can be made from some silly orange face paint and suspenders. You could even have some wicked fun by dressing up as the Grand High Witch from his classic, "The Witches."
Fairy Tale Book Week Costume Ideas
Don't forget the old classics when brainstorming Book Week costume ideas. The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson were masterful storytellers who created characters that have lasted centuries. A classic princess in the same vein as Rapunzel, Cinderella or the Snow Queen would be a no-brainer for girls, while boys might prefer characters like the Huntsman or even sneaky Rumpelstiltskin. Read through the classics and see what inspires you – and your kids.
Where the Wild Things Are
Even the smallest of children can benefit from Book Week costume ideas, even if the only reading they do is on your lap. The story of "Where the Wild Things Are" might be short on words, but not on imagination. Dress up a toddler as the cranky Max, who refuses to eat his dinner and wears pajamas all day – sound familiar to you? It's a comfortable option for younger children who still want to take part in the festivities. Of course, older kids might appreciate getting to dress up as Max – or the Wild Things – too.
Finally, if you are parent to an ultimate girly girl, then one of the best Book Week costume ideas is "Fancy Nancy," from the "Fancy Nancy" series written by Jane O'Connor. Nancy loves to dress up in tutus, pearls, lipstick and purses, so it's a natural fit for the child who is constantly digging through your closet and going through your jewelry box. It's also a costume that works well for a tight budget, since there's a good chance you already have many of the costume components simply laying around your house waiting to be used.
Give your children the gift of stories coming alive by taking a part in Book Week with gusto. Instead of simply reading along, dressing up and acting out some of their favorite scenes can help foster a healthy interest in learning and reading, especially for those who learn visually. And hey, you might find yourself itching to be part of the action as well – Willy Wonka, anyone?