It’s book character day at school this week!
In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America, our school does a Spirit week every year around this time. While spirit week might not be your favorite, the kids really enjoy it. Also, book character day (with a parade!) is always included.
I’ll admit I have a love/hate relationship with spirit weeks at school. Love when it’s easy. Pajama day you are the best. We nail twin day every year. However, some are not as easy. Decade day I’m looking at you.
So, where does book character day fall in the grand scheme of things?
It definitely could be stressful, but I’m here to save the day.
I have some time simple ideas so that you’re not scrambling the night before. Book character day can be just as fun for you…or at least not stressful!
Book Character Day: Use What You Have
There’s really no need to buy anything for book character day or any other school spirit day. With a little imagination, you can make just about anything work.
My boys always need to bring the book along for book character day, so find one on your shelf or borrow one. I don’t know about you, but we have tons of books at home. If you don’t, there’s always the public library or the school library. There’s also neighbors, friends, and relatives that would be happy to loan you a book for a day.
As for the actual costume, look in those closets, look in your halloween costumes, and look in your craft supplies. If you don’t own it, chances are you can make it.
Pick Something First
Is it easier to find a book or a costume? For me, it’s easier to pick the clothing items first, and then search for a book to match. For example, I knew Mr. B had a Darth Vader rain coat and hat. I knew we had to have a Star Wars book somewhere, so we were set.
If you have no ideas, it might be easier to look through some books to see if something jumps out at you.
All Book Characters are Created Equal
When you are choosing a book character remember it does not have to be the main character. From Room on the Broom, we picked the frog. We actually could have picked any book with a frog in it, but this is what I found first after finding our frog hat.
Also, since they are bringing the book, it doesn’t have to be a well-known character either. As long as it looks similar or gives the idea of the one in the book, you’re good. After seeing these winter hats, I found this polar bear book for Mr. P. It’s not a household name, but he looked cute and was happy. That’s all that matters!
Work, Work, Work or Play
Many characters in books have jobs. You or your spouse have a job. Make it work together.
There are plenty of books with doctors, nurses, office workers, teachers, pilots, truck drivers, etc. We had an old Melissa and Doug chef costume, so we found a book with a chef: Ratatouille!
Characters also do lots of activities. What does your child do? There are swimmers, gymnasts, martial artists, dancers, and artists in books. Here’s Mr. B as Ninja Worrier: Ready Freddy?
There are also a lot of classic characters that you may have already used for Halloween such as witches, ghosts, animals, princesses/princes, etc. It’s likely you have a witches hat, cat ears, or you can always cut two holes in a sheet.
Many books take place during a certain time. Holidays, celebrations, and seasons are great ways to make a costume for book character day.
There are tons of Christmas themed books, and I bet you have some green and red in your closet. How about some pastels to be an Easter egg? There’s got to be a birthday book, and you can make a birthday crown or hat to wear.
Accessories Make the Outfit
Often, there’s one key part to a character. Pinkalicious holds a star wand, Harry Potter wears glasses, and Harold has his Purple crayon. Even if you don’t have anything else, those specific thing will definitely call to mind those characters.
The character doesn’t even need to wear the accessories in the book. Just look for other elements that you could add to your costume so people can get the idea.
For example, in the Lorax, we knew that mustache was a key element. Then, in the book, we knew Truffula trees and a sign that said “Unless” would make our character more recognizable even if the rest of the outfit was just orange clothing.
If All Else Fails: Make Something
Lots can be done with paper, glue, and scissors. A lot can also be done with make-up and plain colored clothing.
For this Cat in the Hat hat, I used some white and red tape we had in our craft drawer on an old magic hat. I then found a ribbon for his neck, sticky white paper for his shirt, and eye liner to make his nose and whiskers. Done.
For Please Mr. Panda Panda, I made a box of donuts and a sign for his hat to go with this “panda” type costume.
Book Character Day on Repeat
Remember, this day takes place year after year. So, recycle old costumes or start planning for next year right now! No matter what, try to have fun with it. Your kids may not remember who they were dressed as, but they will remember spending time with you.
Want/Need the books we’ve used? Here are my Amazon Affiliate links. Simply click through the picture to be taken directly to the book. There is no additional charge to you, and I may earn a small commission.
Tell me, do you have book character day at your school? Leave me some more simple ideas in the comments.