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Quick and Easy Kids World Book Day Costumes

Little Hotdog Watson Arctic Cub Hat in Leopard Neutral



Familiar with the panic? It's World Book Day, and we need a costume!

There's no need to purchase anything new for the day, when there's plenty of household items that can work just as well. It saves money and saves from any disposable outfits that will just go to waste and never be worn again. Win win! 

It's just about getting kids to express their love of books, it doesn't need to be a competition, (famous last words!) or a re-enactment of a scene from Motherland! Just a simple effective costume from a classic book. 

We've all got our favourite children's books, and part of the magic is those classic characters that are so instantly recognisable. So much so that they can be easily recreated! Here are some of our favourites. 


The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson, via MacMillan Books

Paper Dolls

All of Julia Donaldson's books, from the Gruffalo to The Smeds and The Smoos, have  wealth of brilliant and recognisable characters to work with. We love The Paper Dolls, and it's a nice craft activity as well as a simple outfit! Cut out and decorate paper dolls and tie as a necklace around any outfit. This is also a fun opportunity to draw outfits on the dolls, and a nice rainy day activity! 

Looking for more fun activities for little ones? Why not check out our blog on fun park games and activities! 


Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg via Puffin Books 


In a dark dark wardrobe, there's an easy easy world book day idea... Funnybones will always be a classic, with its fun rhythm and bold imagery. You may have skeleton pyjamas leftover from Halloween, in which case you're sorted! If not, a simple black top and leggings can be used. Cut out white paper bones (keep it simple, don't get bogged down in trying to become an orthopaedic illustrator!) and stick on the front of the top and leggings. If possible, white paint pens or fabric paint could be effective. If you really wanted to push the boat out, use glow in the dark paints: this will work for halloween too!  

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler,

via MacMillan Books

Room on the Broom

Another Julia Donaldson classic, and another repurposed Halloween outfit! A witches hat and a cape (a silk scarf you bought in the charity shop you were convinced was going to change your aesthetic and life, and could be real Hermes if you squinted a bit...) is all you need to transform into this classic! This also could work for Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pieńkowski, The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy, or Pongwiffy by Jaye Umansky. 


Charlotte's Web by E.L. Bine, via Puffin Books

Charlotte's Web

Hang a spider around your neck, grab a toy pig and some wellies and jeans for a farmer feel. 


Hamilton's Hats by Martine Oborne and Axel Scheffler via Macmillan Books 

Hamilton's Hats

No prizes for guessing why we chose this one! For this children's book, you'll need one of your favourite hats and a stripey t-shirt! 

The real question is choosing your favourite! A LHW Cub, Arctic, or Adventurer?

Check out our full range of cool kids hats for children and adults here! 

Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans by Terry Deary

Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans 

Horrible Histories are a great option for older primary aged children who love history, and are so funny and educational. For World Book Day, a Roman is a great easy option with just a sheet to make a toga! A scroll can be made by using a used tea bag to stain a sheet of paper and roll it up.


A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond via Harper Collins Publishing


Everyone's favourite marmalade loving bear! This is such a lovely easy outfit if you already have a duffel coat and a red hat. Cut out a luggage tag so people can remember to "Please Look After This Bear". Marmalade sandwiches or just a jar of marmalade completes the cutest outfit ever! 

The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, via Egmont Books

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

Extremely cute and extremely easy! All you need for this one is a white top and leggings, and a permanent marker or fabric paint. Paint spots all over the top and leggings, and you could also use make up to paint on a nose and make ears with paper.  

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, via Puffin Books

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

No chocolate river, everlasting gobstopper or glass elevator required! Simply print out a golden ticket on paper or card, and get a flat cap and a brown scarf to really look like Charlie Bucket. All Roald Dahl books can be so easy to work with: for Matilda, you just need a ribbon in the hair, a printed out newt in a jar and a book! There are so many amazing characters to choose from, it's bound to be a huge hit on World Book Day!


What world book day outfit will you be choosing? Let us know on social media what you're getting up to on Facebook and Instagram

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Emma Watson, Owner, Little Hotdog Watson

After growing up in the North-west of England, Emma’s love of travel and style saw her career move to London with a fashion + business degree,  first working as a trend researcher then menswear buyer for some of the most famous stores in the UK. 


In 2015, having had her first baby she moved to Norwich to explore a family life closer to beaches and the countryside. Becoming a parent she found herself in a world of kidswear that didn’t look good or perform for the type of fresh air fun as a family so she set about creating her own brand. Little Hotdog Watson was born in 2016. The summer and winter hats for kids and adults, jam-packed with innovative protective technology have gone on to win awards, grace the pages of magazines, like Vogue, Grazia, Independent, Mother and Baby and celebrities alike. 


Emma had another daughter in 2019 and became a lecturer in Fashion and Business at Norwich University of the Arts.  She continues to design hats at her dining room table and share her passion to help families get outside more and explore the world. Here is one of her favourite outside blogs; 15 games adults will love playing with kids


Email her anytime at; or find her on Instagram.



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