World Book Day Ideas for 2nd March

World Book Day Ideas for 2nd March

World Book Day 2023 blog image

World Book Day 2023 is fast approaching! An annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading, it’s a day we know is a highlight of many teachers’ and pupils’ school years. And, when you see the almost Disney-like parade of happy children trotting into school on the freezing, early-March morning, dressed as Harry Potter, Incy Wincy spider and everything in between, you can’t help but see its appeal.

Of course, the aim of the day is much deeper than dressing up as your favourite character. At its heart, World Book Day wants to change lives by developing a widespread love of books. Its stated mission is to promote reading for pleasure (see our blog from last year, offering every child the opportunity to have a book of their own. Why is its focus on reading for pleasure in particular? Because research it’s undertaken shows that this is the most significant indicator of a child’s future success – having more of an impact than the child’s family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their family’s income.

So, there’s good reason to support World Book Day 2023, but how should we mark the day this year whilst being mindful of the economic climate? In this blog, we outline a few creative ideas that won’t break the bank.

1. Dress up

We know dressing up on World Book Day is often frowned upon, but if it inspires any child to find their love for reading, then I think most of us would think it’s a small price to pay.

Make sure your parents know there really is no expectation to buy a costume from the shops right from the outset. Perhaps you could share our blog from last year about easy costume ideas or, even better, prepare costumes in class to completely remove the pressure from parents.

2. Puppet show for younger pupils

Our Traditional Tales are a great hit with younger children and the activities linked to them really test the children’s recall of the stories. There are Sequencing activities and What’s next activities but also paper puppet templates, which the children can use to re-enact the action themselves.

3. Mystery book swap for older children

Many households have heaps of books that they’ve read and don’t really want anymore, so why not swap them at school so someone else can enjoy them?

All you need to do is ask the children to choose a book that they don’t want anymore, wrap it up and pop a short review to the front of it, indicating who’d like it (age, hobbies) and why.

Create a book jacket for World Book Day

You could even use our ‘Design a book jacket’ writing activity as the template for your review. We’ve made it free to use until the end of World Book Day!

Once you have a selection of books, you can ask the children to choose one that appeals.

Worried you won’t have enough books brought in? Perhaps you could approach a charity shop about buying some more (at a good price of course!)

4. Dress a door, table or display

Almost every primary school teacher has a favourite children’s book and, if you are one of them, this one is for you!

All you need to do is decorate a space so your pupils can guess what your favourite book is (or who your favourite character is). You could create a Mad Hatter’s tea table for Alice in Wonderland or a chocolate shop with a Golden Ticket poking out for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Or, if your class knows you really well, make it that little bit more obscure!

There are some great examples on Pinterest if you’re wanting to magpie an idea or just get inspired.

5. Choose a FREE book from the World Book Day selection

World Book Day just wouldn’t be right without the books, as the children owning a book of their own is a central part of the day.

As such, make sure the book vouchers are distributed in good time for the event.

You can also create a buzz around the books offered by showing your class the ‘Look Insides’ of the books you think they’ll like the most.

Organising a book fair to coincide with the event is always a nice touch too, but do be mindful of the cost of the books made available, so that mums and dads aren’t giving it a wide berth. Remember, the aim of the day is to encourage reading for pleasure, so the books themselves really don’t need to be expensive.

6. Encourage book reviews

Writing a book review may sound a little mundane but book recommendations from peers are really influential when you’re trying to choose a book, especially if it’s by an author you’ve not read before. Try and help the children understand that so they put real effort into what they say, and how they say it.

Create a comic strip as a book review for World Book Day

If simply writing a review doesn’t get the room excited, perhaps your children could get creative with our ‘Create a comic strip’ template instead. Condensing the story they’ve read into six frames is quite a skill!

Use it here!

7. Drop everything and read

Children learn from what they see all around them, so seeing that everyone has a book on the go will encourage children to read more too.

Organising ‘drop everything and read’ is simple. Everyone from the pupils and teachers to dinner ladies, midday supervisors and the school secretary must have a book with them on World Book Day. When the chosen siren sounds, everyone needs to stop what they’re doing and read for 5 minutes.
It’s fun and bound to start a few literacy-focused conversations off!


We hope this blog has given you some new ideas about how you could celebrate World Book Day in school. None of them need be very costly, but can be really enjoyable, which is what will inspire the next generation to read for pleasure.

Have fun! And, if you get the chance, please do share pictures of the activities you do with us. We love to be part of the World Book Day action!

Want to see the Busy Things activities we’ve mentioned?

If your school subscribes to Busy Things already, you’ll be able to access all the activities mentioned here (and more) by simply typing World Book Day into the Search feature.

If you don’t already subscribe but would like to see our activities, we’d love you to take out a free 28-day trial with us! Simply click here for this. You’re more than welcome to have a virtual tour via Zoom too. If you’d like one, contact us here and we’ll get it organised!

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