how to celebrate world book day at home

How to Celebrate World Book Day at Home

It’s just ten days until World Book Day, which is always celebrated on the first Thursday in March here in the UK. In Scotland and Wales, the youngest pupils are returning to school today but older pupils need to wait until later in March, as do pupils in England and Northern Ireland, which means the majority of school children will still be at home on World Book Day this year. Many parents will be breathing a sigh of relief at not having to do the whole costumes rigmarole (for those unaware, it’s customary to dress up as a favourite book character), but there’s more to World Book Day than just dressing up. I actually love the day as much as my kids do, and with my older boy still home from school and super sad to be missing out, we’ve come up with a few ideas for how to celebrate World Book Day at home.


This may be stating the obvious, but the number one thing you can do to celebrate World Book Day, is to read some books together with your children! We do this every day anyway, but not all families do. The mission of World Book Day, is to make reading together and reading for pleasure a habit for life. Reading together for as little a ten minutes a day will encourage a love of reading in children, and it’s fun for the while family. Check out our books archive for recommendations of some of our favourite books.


Another way to ‘read’ together, is to listen to audio books. You could listen to a recording of one of your favourite books, or discover something new. If you are a member of your local library, some of them will have audio books available to borrow via apps such as OverDrive or BorrowBox. Other free resources include sites like Audible, which has made a selection of children’s audio books free at Audible Stories and Storynory or Loyal Books, which have a wide selection of audio recordings of fairy tales and classic authors in the public domain. And the World Book Day website itself also has a brand new audiobooks section with a selection of both picture books and chapter books for different ages. 


Part of the fun of reading, is for the words and pictures to come alive in your imagination. But it’s also fun to see your favourite books come to life on the big screen. So why not have a World Book Day movie night (or afternoon, depending on age) and curl up on the sofa to watch a film based on one of your favourite books. For the very little ones, the adaptations of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s books are always a winner (my friend Amanda has a handy overview of them all on her website). For older children, you can’t go wrong with Roald Dahl inspired films such as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches and Fantastic Mr Fox; or Disney classics such as The Jungle Book and Peter Pan. Other personal favourite children’s book adaptions of mine include The Princess Bride, Mary Poppins, and The Never-ending Story.  Don’t forget the popcorn! 


Pencils at the read – books don’t just include authors, but also illustrators. There are plenty of children’s illustrators who offer online drawing tutorials, showing you how to draw characters from your favourite picture books. Rob Biddulph – who also happens to be the resident World Book Day illustrator – started his #DrawWithRob series in March last year, and it’s still going strong with new episodes every week. Other favourite children’s book illustrators of ours who share online tutorials include Ed Vere, Steven Lenton and Jim Field.


Become an author yourself for the day, and get your children to write their own stories (you could join in too!) It’s great for getting creative juices flowing, and learning about language and story telling. You could either write your own story from scratch, or you could use a writing prompt to get you started – Pobble365 is a great website for this, with daily picture prompts and story starters. Or you could try something fur like re-writing the ending to one of your favourite stories. Younger children could draw a story instead of writing, or grab a wordless picture book and make up a story together to go with the pictures.


If you like crafting, have a book inspired crafting session. Re-create characters from your favourite books my decorating paper plates, wooden spoons, lolly sticks or toilet rolls (Pinterest is full of ideas, if you need some inspiration).  Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, try recreating a while scene from a favourite book in a shoe box. For something a little simple, check out our past tutorial for making your own bookmark!

The World Book Day website also has lots of book related activity sheets to download, for Nursery, Primary and Secondary aged children.


Play a game of book charades! Just like at Christmas (minus the Christmas dinner), but all the answers have to be books. Go on, you know you want to…

Dress up!

Last but not least, just because kids are staying at home, doesn’t mean they can’t dress up! I know my eldest will definitely still want to dress up as a book character. He looks forward to it all year, and schools being closed isn’t going to stop him. After all, he does it because he loves it, not just to show off his costume at school. And if your kids still want to dress up, that doesn’t mean spending loads of time and money on costumes. There are lots of ways to re-create book characters with clothing and props you already have at home – check out our  previous posts with 9 World Book Day Costumes on a Budget and 5 Last Minute World Book Day Costumes.

Comments: 9

  • reply
    26 February 2021

    We are getting excited for World Book Day here and plan to dress up and make the most of it. We have also been creating a World Book Day character out of a potato which has turned into quite the all ecompassing production complete with backdrops etc

  • reply
    26 February 2021

    We love world book day and love these ideas you have . I’ve always celebrated at home with the little ones that aren’t at school yet :) we’re doing Goldilocks this year

  • reply

    Melanie williams

    26 February 2021

    Yay some really good ideas here for sure. World book day is brilliant and most definitely should be celebrated. Dress up and play are a must xx

  • reply
    26 February 2021

    We have some activities that school have set up for next week. There will be different challenges such as guess the teachers favourite book and take a picture of yourself reading in an unusual place. So many great ideas.

  • reply
    28 February 2021

    Oh my goodness, I completely forgot that it will soon be world book day, we used to love dressing up and reading the book or character we’d dressed up as.

  • reply
    1 March 2021

    I still think my two love to dress up the most!! I’m glad my eldest has got into reading a bit more as she was quite bad before! Lovely to see her enjoy a book.

  • reply
    1 March 2021

    We are dressing up in my work and I am either going to What The LadyBird Heard or Mary poppins

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