How to celebrate World Book Day 2019

by - Monday, March 04, 2019

If you have a child of school age, it's most likely that you've heard of World Book Day! On Thursday March 7th, social media will be inundated with pictures of children dressed as their favourite fictional characters, while schools will be devising new and interesting ways to encourage a love of reading for their students.

There are loads of ideas for dressing up, including instructions for how to achieve these costumes, over on the World Book Day website. Most of these don't require you to buy anything new or specific, perhaps just a printable or two and a little imagination.

Alternatively, this brilliant list of "no stress" World Book Day costumes by Artventurers may help you find something fast and fabulous - even if it's at the last minute!

World Book Day isn't just about dressing up though! By fostering a love of reading from an early age, we can ensure that our children:

  • Experience sufficient mental stimulation, which is proven to reduce the likelihood of dementia and Alzheimer’s in later life
  • Have reduced stress levels
  • Broaden their knowledge (including emotional intelligence)
  • Expand their vocabulary
  • Improve their memory
  • Develop stronger analytical thinking skills
  • Improve focus and concentration
  • Develop better writing skills

Since it's inception in 1995, World Book Day has developed a huge resource bank of activities, downloads and events to engage a young audience. Why not try one of the following ideas with your children on Thursday?

Attend a local event

Bookstores and supermarkets and attractions across the country have planned child-friendly events for World Book Day. From family art activities to reading rare books in a museum, find out what's happening in your area by searching on the WBD events page.

Host a Big Booky Breakfast

If your children will be at school on World Book Day, celebrate at breakfast time and help raise much needed funds for Book Aid International! 

If you're stuck for ideas, you can find a free resource pack on the Book Aid International website, plus loads of videos, printables and recommendations. 

Just £2 will help send a book to children who may otherwise never hold a book in their hands. 

Watch an author or illustrator masterclass

The World Book Day team has created 12 free films to help inspire children of all ages, with a key focus on reading, writing, illustrating and creativity. Featuring brilliant content from Lauren Child, Malorie Blackman, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Sibéal Pounder, Jeff Kinney and Chris Riddell, each video is accompanied by free resources to help continue learning after the end credits. 

Watch the BBC Live Lesson

At 2pm on World Book Day, the BBC will screen a "live lesson" for World Book Day, which will be available to view afterwards on the website. It's aimed at primary school-aged children, though there are other related "lessons" already available on the website suitable for older children and parents. 

Design a National Book Token

Encourage your children to take part in the Design a National Book Token competition to be in with a chance of winning hundreds of pounds worth of books!

The theme of this year's competition is "Share a Story". A panel of judges will select a winner and runner-up in each of three age categories: up to 8 years, 9-12 years and 13-16 years.

Find reading recommendations and share a story!

Reading should not be confined to World Book Day, instead it can be a way of spending quality time with your children. And while bedtime stories are wonderful, there are many more ways of sharing a story with our young ones. 

To be inspired about what to read next, take a look at the huge list of reading recommendations on this page of the WBD site - there's something for all ages and every taste here!

Then join the campaign to get the nation sharing stories from breakfast to bedtime. There are dozens of resources here, from printable reading records to guides for parents, posters and more. You should also check out the ideas section which includes resources for the Big Book Off challenge.

How are you celebrating World Book Day this year?

Have you been inspired to create an event of your own, or will the stress of creating a costume be enough? Please feel free share your comments and experiences below.

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