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We are Engage• 3 Min read

2nd March 2023

Classroom ideas for World Book Day

World Book Day

This year World Book Day is on March 2nd 2023, it is the 26th Anniversary as World Book Day began in 1995! Every year each child in full-time education is given a voucher to choose one book of their choice, so make sure your students take full advantage of this.


Why do we celebrate World Book Day?

World Book Day is celebrated to encourage children to read more and to ensure that each child has access to reading materials. Reading in their spare time will help children improve their vocabulary, spelling, reading and writing skills. The charity day also helps authors, illustrators and book companies with their sales, building their platform and performance all the while they help children learn. 


What is this year’s theme?

The theme for World Book Day 2023 is ‘You are a reader’ and the aim is to focus on helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds get a book each. To do this, the World Book Day organisation is working closely with schools to ensure that every child gets a book of their own by issuing vouchers. 


There are also competitions and tasks surrounding the theme such as a writing contest for teachers. To enter you have to send World Book Day a short case study with evidence on how you help children to say ‘I am a reader’ and how you help their personal development throughout their learning. The first prize is a seasons beanbag bundle, a bundle of books and £250 in National Book token vouchers. The two runners-up prizes are £50 in National Book tokens. The winners will certainly be able to transform their school library and provide more options for aspiring children in the school libraries! If this is something that your school is interested in, follow the link below to enter. Enter the competition here. Best of luck!


Classroom ideas for World Book Day

World Book Day only comes around once a year and is an opportunity for students to take part in some fun activities linked to reading. Depending on the level and age of the students that you teach there are different ways to entertain students this World Book Day!


Pre-School pupils

For children under five, acting out their favourite stories with puppets is an excellent way for them to be involved with World Book Day. Encouraging them to dress up as their favourite character is a great way for them to get involved and talk about their favourite characters and authors. See below some costume ideas. 



For key stage one children, they will just be developing their reading skills, so it is important to encourage them to read their favourite books on World Book Day. A good task could be to get every student to bring in their favourite book and then swap it with a partner so they all get to read one new book each! Once they have read both books, get the children to draw their favourite characters from each book. An additional task you can do is to bring in your personal favourite book (suitable for children) and read it to them.



Students at the KS2 age should have a good reading level and will use reading individually in everyday activities and classroom lessons. Testing their reading and writing skills on World Book Day can be made fun through activities. Having students write a review or blog on their favourite book is a brilliant writing task that will challenge them. Ask them to explain what the book is about, why they enjoyed it, about the main characters and anything they didn’t like about the book. If you want to challenge them, get them to write a review that explains what the book is about without spoiling it! 


KS3 and above

Getting older students to engage in celebrations like World Book Day can be difficult because they may feel they are too old for it or they may feel embarrassed if they show an interest. However, students at this age could be under a lot of stress from exams, and sometimes it is good for them to take a break and have a fun task to work on. A good task for students at this age is to get them to write their own stories so they can broaden their imaginations. A fun and funny task relevant to World Book Day could be having the whole class contribute to creating a story as a group. Try to encourage older students to get involved but if they are reluctant, allow them to work on a reading task for the lesson so that it is still relevant.


Costume ideas for your students

On World Book Day, children are encouraged to dress up as a character from their favourite book. Buying a new costume can be difficult due to pricing or time restraints. If you are struggling with ideas, here are some excellent but cheap last-minute ideas for your children or any children in your class:


Younger children

Mr Bump:

  • Blue top and blue trousers
  • Bandages or toilet roll to wrap around the child’s head and body


Cat in the Hat characters:

  • Red t-shirt with a piece of paper cut into a circle with Thing 1 or 2 written on in black stuck onto the shirt
  • Additional blue wig or temporary blue hair dye if you want to go the extra mile!


This costume is a great idea for siblings! 


The Midnight Gang:

  • Pyjamas 
  • Pillow (optional)
  • A balloon to hold!


Older children

Percy Jackson:

  • Ordinary clothes, zipped hoodie, t-shirt and jeans
  • Toy shield or lightening bolt made from cardboard


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

  • Ordinary clothes – Polo shirt, jumper, black school trousers
  • Homemade golden ticket and a chocolate bar


Tracy Beaker

  • Stripey red top
  • Messy dark hair, or a wig if needed
  • Denim jacket


Additionally, if you have any old Halloween costumes or outfits used in previous years, feel free to encourage children to re-use them! As a teacher why not get dressed up yourself and join in with the fun, there are many costume ideas for teachers to choose from and dressing up will help your students feel more involved with the fun of World Book day. 


Costume ideas for teachers!

We hope you can make World Book Day 2023 exciting for your students and remember to focus on the theme of ensuring all children have a book of their own this World Book Day!

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