A-Z of world book day ideas – That aren’t dressing up!

World Book Day teaching activities

As a parent, I am starting to dread the yearly costume hunt that World Book Day has become. So here is an A-Z list of possible activities and ideas that you could do instead. Of course, this is not just for schools, you may want to do some of these at home as well. If you have to you could always dress up while you are doing these and this site has an A-Z of costume ideas for World Book Day!

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The A-Z of activities

A – Act out your favourite chapter: This could be a short play or you could even make a short film so there are plenty of roles for those not keen on performing. This is an excellent opportunity for group work.

Archaeology Adventure: Bury some props in a sand tray and get the children to put them together with the right book.

B – Bring a book: Ok this is cheating but just let the children bring a book in to share with their friends.

Book bingo: Create a bingo card with characters, locations, phrases so the children can tick them off as you read.

C – Cook a character: Any excuse for cooking, you can make cookies or gingerbread men of your favourite characters

D – Dream Jars: A nice sensory activity for EYFS or SEN. Create some dream jars from the BFG, Make them bright and colourful or dark and menacing. What ingredients will the children choose to use?

Design a Mr Man or Little Miss- This website lets you design and print a new Mr Men character. Get the children to complete this and then write a story about them.

E – Eggcellent Storytellers: Paint some hard boiled eggs to look like characters from your favourite book, Actually any vegetable would do as well. You can take them and photograph them in locations to recreate book illustrations.

F – Finger Puppets: Simple to make out of old material or even paper. Then record the children recreating a scene.

G – Gamify that book, design a board game: What rules will the children make up. Dice or spinners, what will the board look like? Coding Whizzkids could create a Scratch version of their favourite book. This is a Room on the Broom board game.

H – Host an author, illustrator or storyteller: Nothing enthuses children like someone who is passionate about books. Contact your local bookshop they may have some good contacts for local authors.

Hunt for clues – A scavenger hunt then use what you find to write a story,

I – Illustrate a page each: Each child or class chooses one page of a book or story to write or illustrate. They can read this in an assembly.

J – Just a little bit of imagination is needed for Small world play: A tough tray some materials and some figures and your children can recreate the story to their heart’s content, or will they rewrite it? This could be extended to some stop motion animation.

K – Kahoot: Read a book then play a Kahoot quiz about it. The children could make the quizzes themselves about popular books or those they have studied that year.

Kite’s: Books let your imagination soar, design a kite to represent the book. Can it fly or is it for display only?

L – Launch a youtube channel: Read or even better Sign/Makaton along to some storybooks.

M – Make a Mask (or prop): Cheaper and easier than a whole costume and can be done at school so no one is left out.

N – New Word Workshop: Where would we be without Roald Dahl’s Whizzpops or Scrumdiddlyumptious can the children come up with their own Dahlesque language?

O – Open a book shop: Ask for donations of pre-loved books and run a mini-enterprise.

P – Pebble Storyboards: The children paint some pebbles with scenes from a book then arrange them in order. You can then hide them around the school for a scavenger hunt.

world book days ideas

Paper plate crafts: This idea is from ArtsyCraftsyMom very simple to make a range of paper plate people or robots!

Q – Quote Posters: Share your favourite lines as graphics and make a display. Either get the craft materials out or use an online quote generator. Quozio is a good one.

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R – Reading recipes: There are plenty of books with awesome recipes just waiting to be cooked – Gruffalo crumble anyone?

Record an audiobook: Most ipads and tablets now have a voice recorder, have a read then upload it to soundcloud so parents can listen too.

S – Swop and Share: Bring some old books in and have a rummage, this could work in the staffroom as well.

Sing a song: Can your budding musicians create a song about the book you choose, non-singers can create soundscapes for the audiobooks above. Or even A Sign-a-long song like this from Julia Donaldson.

Stick Man Sticky Sticks: Get some sticks get a glue gun (or maybe some tape) and make a whole school of Stick people.

T – Tea Party: Yep Alice in Wonderland style, maybe make some awesome hats beforehand.

U – Umbrella Sensory Story: See this post. You can make quite an immersive environment with these. Huddle under the umbrella and let your imagination run wild.

V – Visit a library: Sorry is this cheating?

W – Write a book review: Self-explanatory but what book will they review and what audience are they writing for?

X – Xylography Workshop: Printing with wood blocks. Can you create some cork letters and carve them or find some old printing blocks? Or even engrave some book covers onto sheets of balsa wood?

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Y – Yearbooks: Create a collage of every child holding the books they enjoyed reading the most over the course of the year.

Z – Zombify a novel: A great one for teenagers see Pride and Prejudice with Zombies for inspiration.

Zoo for book animals: Can you create a zoo bringing together as many animal book characters as possible.

I hope that is enough to spark your imagination. Please add your ideas in the comments!

ideas for world book day that aren't dressing up

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