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Easy Book Week Costumes | Curious Creatures, Wild Minds 2020

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Check out these easy Book Week costume ideas for 2020 Children’s Book Week theme: “CURIOUS CREATURES, WILD MINDS”

Book Week 2020 runs from August 22-28, and this year asks your children to embrace the theme “Curious Creatures, Wild Minds”. This exciting invitation opens a world full of possibilities when it comes to kids book week theme ideas. This is an opportunity to escape into another world where your child can be anything they want to be!

Book week is a fantastic opportunity for your child to celebrate their favourite characters from their favourite books by dressing up.  However, if you’re the sort of parent that cringes when you the phrase “Book Week” then you are going to love this article which is all about easy book week costumes and kids book week ideas.

Curious Creatures, Wild Minds costume ideas – easy book week costume ideas 2020

Curious Creatures, Wild Minds invokes thoughts of nature, jungles, sea creatures and dinosaurs, of imaginary and mythological animals, and of adventurers, explorers and scientists.

If you’re stuck thinking of book week character ideas, we’ve got those too, along with some easy children’s book week costumes that you can put together yourself.

But there’s  no need to raid your local craft store and stay up until the early hours of the morning creating your child’s book week dress up costume – in this guide we’ve also provided links to buy your kids book week costumes online. With the magic of books comes endless possibilities! These children’s Book Week costume ideas will help spark your imagination.

Delve into our book week 2020 costume ideas and decide where book week will take your family: will your “curious creature” be found in the past, a fantasy land, under the waves, or perhaps even another universe? Or is your child keen to embrace their “wild mind” as a fabulous adventurer?

Tip: Enjoy the lead up to the August event with DIY costume crafts or reading through your children’s favourite stories for inspiration. Perhaps even encourage your children to participate in The Premier’s Reading Challenge.

15 Easy Book Week Costumes 2020

1. The Gruffalo

What a strange and curious creature the Gruffalo is, invented by a little mouse who has no idea that the real Gruffalo is nearby! Primary and kindy children love the stories of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, and the books are so popular they have even been made into a live-theatre stage plays. To create your own simple Gruffalo book week costume, dress your child in brown trousers and shirt, add big felt ears to a headband, and use facepaint to create the fangs, or you can order a ready-made Gruffalo book week costume here to fit children aged 3-10 years old.

Gruffalo Book Week Costume

Book Inspiration: The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson

Click here to order your Gruffalo costume.

2. A Curious Creature – the Unicorn

There are many beautiful children’s books that star a unicorn; your child is bound to have one on their bookshelf or have seen one at school. Unicorns are a magical fantasy creature inspiring hope and goodness in all who are lucky enough to encounter one. Creating the unicorn’s horn can be a little tricky for a DIY project unless you are a whiz with papier mache and cardboard, but this beautiful fantasy unicorn dress book week costume will save you the hassle!

Children's Book Week costume idea unicorn dress

Book inspiration: Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabley; My Secret Unicorn (series) by Linda Chapman.

Click here to order your Unicorn inspired costume.

3. Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit

The Hobbit, part of The Lord of the Rings series, was originally written for an older audience but there are many beautifully illustrated and graphic-novel versions available now to tempt younger and advanced readers. If you have a fantasy loving child, check out this fabulous Bilbo Baggins book week costume with ring. You can even buy the giant feet for added authenticity!

Bilbo Baggins Hobbit Book Week Costume

Book inspiration: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein.

Click here to order your Bilbo Baggins costume.

4. Curious Creature – The Cat in the Hat

If anyone has the power to get kids reading, Dr Seuss does! Gosh I remember reading all the books when I was a kid and kids are still reading all his books, so it’s no wonder that The Cat in the Hat is a regular when it comes to book character dress up ideas.

The Cat in the Hat certainly lets his curiosity get him into mischief, along with his side kicks, Thing One and Thing Two!

The Cat in the Hat can be one of the simple book character costumes you can make at home. Grab some cardboard and get a red bow tie from a 2 dollar shop. Otherwise, for an easier book week character dress up, click on the image below to order your full Cat in the Hat book week costume online.

Easy Book Week costumes

Book Inspiration: The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

Click here to order your Cat in the Hat Costume

Click here to order your Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes

5. Wild Minds – Dora the Explorer

With a wild mind for adventure, Dora leads the way with her friends.

Dora is a seven year old Latina girl who, with the help of her friends Backpack, Map and Boots the Monkey, goes on exciting adventures. During her adventures Dora is regularly faced with problems that she must solve as well as working out how best to deal with the infamous Swiper the Fox.

Dora the Explorer is great idea if you’re looking for cheap book week costumes or girls book week costumes as you could probably make it work with what your child already has in their wardrobe. All you need is a pink t-shirt, a pair of orange shorts, a purple backpack (or the actual backpack), pair of sneakers and yellow frilly socks. If you don’t have these items, there are some great Dora the Explorer book week costumes online.

Dora the Explorer book week costume

Book Inspiration: Dora the Explorer

Click here to order your Dora the Explorer book week costume.

6. Wild Minds – Go, Diego, Go!

Just like his cousin Dora, Diego loves to go on adventures with his friend Baby Jaguar to see who he can help today!

To make your own Diego costume, pair blue shorts with a light blue t-shirt, and add an overshirt with the sleeves removed. If you want to be more authentic with the badge and backpack, you can buy the complete Diego book week costume online.

Nickelodeon Diego Book Week Costume

Book inspiration: Dora Helps Diego by Nickelodeon

Click here to buy your Go, Diego, Go! book week costume.

7. Curious Creatures – Monsters!

We love monsters, and they’re in books for all ages! From Sesame Street’s The Monster at the End of This Book, Sigel Adler’s “You’re Not My Monster” (a book to help children overcome fears), and “Eat Pete” by Michael Rex, these sometimes scary but ultimately friendly creatures bring fun and adventure into every life. The great thing about monster book week costumes is they can be as wild and crazy as your imagination! Grab scraps of ‘hairy’ or bright fabric from the off-cuts bin at your local fabric store and pin them into a ragtag haphazard cloak to create the monster of your dreams, or check out these fabulous ready-made monster book week costumes available online.

For younger children, monsters are ideal toddler book week costumes – just see the number of monster board books available at your local library!

Polka Dot Monster book week costumeMoris the Monster

Click here to order Purple and Orange book week monster costume.

Click here to order Pink and Purple book week monster costume.

8. Curious Creatures – Under the Sea

The oceans are full of curious-looking creatures – if you’re looking for unusual book week costume inspiration you’re bound to find it there!

I remember making an under-the-sea themed costume for my son in prep. It was a costume that my son could easily take off and put on so that it wouldn’t get in the way of playing and eating, and it was so simple to make. My son went as a jellyfish! Here’s what I did: I bought an old grey sheet from a charity shop and cut off a large section to wrap over my wide-brimmed sun hat, padding the gap between the sheet and brim with newspaper to give it that nice blobby jellyfish shape. I cut the rest of the sheet into long thin strips of unequal length and secured them to the underside of the brim with safety pins (it was last-minute – I didn’t have time to sew!). Wearing his boardies and rashie underneath he was totally sunsafe with a unique no-fuss DIY book week costume!

If you want your under-the-sea curious creature book week costume at the click of a button, try this “Bubbles” fish costume for younger children.

Fish book week costume

Book inspiration: Splash and Bubbles by Jim Henson. Get your Bubbles costume here.

Book inspiration (non-fiction): Citizens of the Sea by Nancy Knowlton and National Geographic

9. Harry Potter

      Easy Book Week costumes Harry Potter

When it comes to book week ideas, Harry Potter is always a favourite. There are book week costume ideas for boys and girls within its pages!

The magical world of Hogwarts is full of curious creatures and – of course – those wild wizarding minds! Have your child dress up as their favourite character from the book, whether that be Harry Potter himself or one of his friends, Hermione Granger or Ron Weasley.

Your child will love imagining they are attending the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the day and learning how to control their magical powers.

If your child would rather be one of the Harry Potter curious creatures for Book Week 2020, check out this awesome Dobby the House Elf costume – he even has a sock!

Dobby the House Elf costume

Just note that Harry Potter is one of most popular book characters to dress up as, so don’t go for this if your child wants something unique.

We’ve also got an article on how to get an acceptance letter to Hogwarts if your child is nearly 11 years old!

Book Inspiration: Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Click here to order your Harry Potter costume.

10. Curious Creatures – Dragons!

Dragons are always popular in children’s books, especially once children are reading for themselves in upper primary. It might be tricky to create your own book week dragon costume, but there are lots available online to suit all age groups. This one would work particularly well for fans of the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell and Eragon by Christopher Paolini for older readers.

A favourite in our house is Dragonology by Ernest Drake for serious fans of dragons!

Dragon book week costume

Book inspiration: Dragonology by Ernest Drake

Order your dragon book week costume online here.

11. Curious Creatures – Pokemon

With the Pokemon Go app and the recent movie Detective Pikachu, Pokemon are enjoying a huge revival at the moment. The Pokemon Adventures book series is suitable for ages 7-10 and read from right to left in the Japanese style.

My daughter made her own Pikachu costume by carefully gluing yellow felt fabric to a stiff cardboard tail and attaching felt-covered cardboard ears to a yellow headband. She wore them over a yellow t-shirt and trousers, with face-paint rosy cheeks to complete her look. You can get your ready-made Pikachu book week costume by clicking here (and there are other Pokemon characters available too!)

Pikachu book week costume

Book inspiration: Pokemon Adventures by Hidenori Kusaka

Click here to order your Pokemon book week costume

12. The BFG

Roald Dahl’s beloved favourite, The BFG, is a both a curious creature and a wild mind. This could be a simple DIY costume if you have some green (or khaki) trousers, a white t-shirt and a brown vest, with rolled-up cardboard to make the dream trumpet, but you can get it all – including the giant ears – by ordering online.

The BFG book week costume

Book inspiration: The BFG by Roald Dahl

Order your BFG book week costume online here.

13. Where the Wild Things Are

This beautiful timeless classic has been a favourite for over fifty years! Where the Wild Things Are is a heartwarming story of a little boy sent to bed without his supper, but his bedroom undergoes a mysterious transformation. Max finds himself sailing to an island where the Wild Things live, but instead of being eaten, Max becomes their king.

Where the Wild Things Are has been adapted many times in television and cinema and has also been made into a live-theatre stage play.

Where the Wild Things Are Max costume

Book inspiration: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Order your Max book week costume online here.

14. Curious Creatures – Dinosaurs

In the realm of countless fiction and non-fiction books, dinosaurs capture the imagination of children everywhere, so it makes sense that they’re a popular choice when it comes to some of the best book week costumes.

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in the prehistoric era amongst the dinosaurs? This book week you can find out! Grab your best dinosaur outfit (we love, love, LOVE this one here) or skip brushing your hair to be the perfect caveman.

easy book week costumes

Book inspirationHow Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

Click here to order your dinosaur book week costume

15. Wild Minds – How to Bee

How to Bee is  story about family, loyalty, kindness and bravery, set against an all-too-possible future where climate change has forever changed the way we live. Bees are extinct and so children have to do their work pollinating the crops. It was the winner of the CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers, 2018 award.

Bee Fancy Dress Costume

Book inspiration: How to Bee by Bren MacDribble

Order your bee costume online here.

Left it too late? Here’s where to hire a costume near you! Click here

Book Week Ideas – timeless favourites

We hope these Children’s Book Week costume ideas will help you explore the ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’ theme this Book Week 2020, but here are a few more timeless favourites that you can adapt to fit almost any book week theme!

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda costume

Superman by DC Comics

Superman costume

Batman by DC Comics

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Captain Underpants

Of course we don’t expect your little one just to wear their undies to school! Dress them in a skin coloured leggings or pants and skin colour top – then put over the top a great big pair of white y front underpants. Top it off with a red cape

Check out these Book Week Costume Ideas from earlier years:

When it comes to dressing up for Book Week Families Magazine readers are the BEST…

Many children love getting dressed up for Book Week – we loved these costume ideas sent in by our Facebook followers.

Children's Book Week costume ideas

The Cat in the Hat

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Scarecrow & Tin Man from Wizard of Oz

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Little Red Riding Hood & a Pirate

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Little Red Riding Hood, Superman, Asterix and the Cat in the Hat!

Children's Book Week costume ideas

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Too Many Elephants in the Room

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Captain Underpants

Easy Book Week costume ideas for teachers

Check out these Book Week costume ideas for teachers that were sent in by some of our followers!

Children's Book Week costume ideas

One very hungry caterpillar!!! aka Prep Teacher Aide

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Children's Book Week costume ideas

Toy Story – Woody & Jesse

Tips for Reading With Children:

  1. Talk with your child about the book they are reading. What is it about? Do they like it? What do they think will happen next?
  2. Ensure your child can read and understand the vocabulary used in the books and that they are comprehending what they are reading. Reading should have meaning!
  3. Talk about the pictures, particularly with younger and less able readers. Pictures help children to understand the words.
  4. Ask your child to read some of the words from the book in isolation to ensure they are not memorising the sequence of the text.
  5. As your child gets older or a more able reader, discuss the characters and the words and phrases used by the author.
  6. When your child does not know a word, encourage them to make a sensible guess but do not let them struggle.
  7. Encourage your child to sound out and word build phonetic words, by using letter sounds not letter names, e.g. ‘a’ as in pat. Help them to break down the longer words, e.g. im-por-tant. It is important that your child recognises all the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make.
  8. If your child misreads a word, stop him or her and say the correct word – although if it is a word which makes no difference to the meaning (for example, ‘home’ instead of ‘house’) it is best to ignore it.
  9. Try to develop your child’s expression and prediction skills, especially when they have become a fluent reader – draw their attention to punctuation, e.g. stopping at full stops and the use of expression when characters are speaking.
  10. Use lots of praise and encouragement and avoid criticism. It is important your child becomes confident with their reading.

Your child may experience a mixture of reading activities in school

  • They should be given opportunities to read individually from reading scheme books.
  • During shared/quiet reading sessions they may be encouraged to read silently or share with a partner a book of their choice.
  • They may take part in group play and poetry reading sessions.

Finally

Finally and most importantly, so you can enjoy hearing your child read, make the reading sessions short. Give lots of praise – for effort as well as achievement. If you are anxious try not to let it show. Discuss any concerns you have about your child’s reading with their class teacher.

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