Fun fact: did you know that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success? More than their family's circumstances, more than their parents’ educational background, more even than the family's income. Amazing, huh?
World Book Day was created 26 years ago, to encourage more children to establish a habit of reading for pleasure, so that a greater number of kids can benefit from these improved life chances. To celebrate this transformative power of the written word, here are some of our favourite ways to get involved with World Book Day 2023 on March 2nd.
Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success. (Source OECD.org)
1. GET DRESSED UP
Swanking into nursery or pre-school in your best dress-up is always fun and you can also show off their looks in the park or via your socials. If you're after inspo, the World Book Day (WBD) site has lots of great ideas from the BFG to The Cat In The Hat, including downloadable templates. Whether you have 10 days or 10 minutes, the brilliant Roald Dahl Charity site also has lots of options for creating a splendiferous costume.
But don't feel you have to buy or make something new. Face paint (or even your own make-up) can instantly transform a simple outfit. Depending on their chosen character, simply paint on whiskers or animal markings, a forehead scar and glasses for an instant Harry Potter. If you're fans of the Little People Big Dreams series, a David Bowie lightning bolt transforms them into your very own Ziggy Stardust. (Although, as a life-long Bowie fan, I feel I have to point out this look is actually Aladdin Sane...)
2. DO THE READING STAR CHALLENGE
This fun game will encourage you to make reading part of the day - not just at bedtime! Tick off a Reading Star each time you complete a reading task and discover new ways to got lost in a book.
3. ENJOY FACT, NOT FICTION
Books don't have to be story-led to be gripping. We stock loads of wonderful topic book titles and biographies. Or you might want to encourage their interest in recycling or nature, or start them learning about activism or philosophy.
Titles like Old Enough To Save The Planet by Abrams & Chronicle Books make for fantastic ways to open up discussions about important subjects.
4. CLAIM YOUR FREE BOOK
Official WBD £1 books and £1 off tokens are available from most nurseries and schools and you can also find them in a range of children’s magazines. To redeem them, you can find local participating bookshop at the bottom of this page on the WBD site. (For technical reasons, we sorry to say we can't yet accept the tokens at KIDLY.) The £1 book tokens will be valid from Thursday 16 February – Sunday 26 March 2023.
5. GET FREE AUDIOBOOKS
Being read to is a big treat that adults deserve to enjoy too! The WBD site has some lovely video books you can enjoy together - there are several from the superstar team of Julia Donaldson & Axel Sheffer, like Postman Bear and Hide-And-Seek Pig. (They've all got ace downloadable activities too.)
Plus they've got loads of audiobooks that might be fun to listen to at bedtime. We particularly love Baby Aliens got my Teacher!, especially as it's read by the fab Susan Calman, and The Snotty Dribbler, a great story about sibling rivalry and love.
6. WIN SIGNED BOOKS
You can win lots of different prizes by entering the many competitions on the WBD site, from signed books to a National Art Pass.
7. HAVE A ZOOM READ-ALONG
Maybe you could make this WBD a bit different by getting a friend or grandparent to read to your little one over Zoom? It could become a weekly tradition or an occasional treat for your usual bedtime routine.
8. GET SOME FRESH RECCOS
Kids grow and their reading needs change all the time. Of course we love having those old faves to return to, night after night (after night after night!!), but if you're after some fresh inspo by age and genre, the WBD site is on it.
9. PIMP YOUR READING NOOK
And finally, why not make their favourite reading spot a little bit more special? Read up on how to Create An Inspiring Reading Nook or have a browse of our cushions, beanbags and rugs. It'll make their reading sessions extra nookalicious!
So there you have it - World Book Day with bells on. And don't forget, if you need any advice on books, dress-up, or any help at all, our Live Chat Team is always here to help, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (but not bank holidays). Just hit that purple button, bottom right.