World Book Day: Ideas for children’s costumes – How about Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket?

Every year on the first week of March parents are faced with a challenge: preparing new costumes for the annual World Book Day. You cannot get away with recycling last year’s outfits because kids remember and they are also awarded prizes for the best costumes at school. Last year I came up with a quirky costume idea and thought I share it with London Mums along with other creative costumes I have photographed on my school playground over the years.


My son won a prize for his Golden Ticket by Willy Wonka outfit from Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Both children and teachers dressed up as Willy Wonka or Charlie from Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but we never saw anybody dressed up as the Golden Ticket itself. It was very easy making this costume. I happened to have a big golden envelope which we cut and decorated to fit as a sandwich man dress. Then we bought a Wonka chocolate bar and we used it to have it as an accessory to the costume. It worked well so much so that my son won a £5 voucher as a prize from the school.

 IMG_0316world book day golden ticket costume collage

Another very creative mum from the class made costumes from Minecraft. You can see how brilliant it was made and I bet she spent a lot more time than me preparing two of them for her sons in two different classes. I admire these busy London Mums who go the extra mile to make sure their children are involved in the school’s activities and also appreciate books. This definitely encourages children to read more and to develop a passion for literature in general which is the whole point of World Book Day.


It’s not just parents being creative. Teachers are extremely resourceful when it comes to making quirky outfits. One year seven teachers were dressed up as the seven dwarfs because they knew many girls would turn up in Snow White costumes.

World book day costumes ideas London Mums magazine 4

World book day costumes ideas London Mums magazine 3

This looks like a tree – maybe it is supposed to be Stick Man (by Julia Donaldson) which is a popular tale among kids

Picture books and children’s novels offer endless ideas on characters for World Book Day but there are a few recurring favourite authors and books.

The most popular ones which often inspire costumes include:

Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach

JK Rowling – Harry Potter

Julia Donaldson – The Gruffalo, Stick Man

Carlo Collodi – The Adventures of Pinocchio

Elmer the Elephant (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

Dennis the Menace (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

The very hungry caterpillar (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

Francesca Simon – Horrid Henry  – Make a Horrid Henry costume

Classic Tales – Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood

Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

L. Frank Baum – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

A. A. Milne – Winnie-the-Pooh

Dr. Seuss – The Cat in the Hat (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

Who will your child be on World Book Day?

On the Book Aid International website you can download for FREE a whole collection of super-easy costume-making guides, tips and tricks. Choose your favourite book character below, download the sheet and off you go!

Once you’re all dressed up, send us a photo of your class in their costumes – we’d love to see how fabulous you all look! We wish you a very happy World Book Day!

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Make way for ….. Pinocchio. Pinocchio’s outfit is often mistaken for Noddy.

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