I have always loved book character costume day. In the past my school had this day on the Friday before Halloween. We were looking for a way for students to dress in costume while still focusing on education and not Halloween. A few times we also did it to celebrate Read Across America. These are my favorite ideas for character costumes for students!
Most of the students really enjoy this day as well. But I quickly noticed that many students did not really understand what they were supposed to do. They did not understand that their costume had to also be the same as a character found in a book. And some parents did not take the time to discuss it with them either.
The first year was a learning experience for me. I was constantly being asked by a student if there was a book with a vampire character or a Ninja Turtle. They would get upset because they did not think they would be able to participate.
The next year I was ready. I came up with a list of book characters that most students could dress up as with very little preparation and that did not cost much (if any) money. It was very important to me to find a way for all students to participate no matter what.
Also, one of the requirements for this day is that every student must be able to tell their teacher their character’s name and the title of the book the character is from. Some teachers really pushed for the student to have a copy of the book. And while I completely understand this, that is not always possible, whether the parents could not afford to buy the book or the library did not have a copy of the book for the child to use. So I ended up printing a lot of book covers for the students to use instead.
Once I came up with my list I made copies for the students and spent a few minutes discussing possible costume ideas they could do. Of course these conversations ended up taking most of our lesson time, but I felt it was worth it. The kids were excited to be talking about books and reading and brainstorming creative ways to create a costume.
I spent a lot of time creating my book character list and wanted to share it with other librarians and teachers. Below I have listed just a few of my favorite book character costumes, some with D.I.Y. instructions. You can download the complete list at the bottom of this post.
10 Favorite Character Costumes for Students
1. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (Image source unkown). Click on the picture for D.I.Y. instructions.
2. The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt (Via The Ruffled Mango)
3. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt (Via The House that Lars Built)
To go along with this costume, I found this awesome free crayon hat template from Teachers Pay Teachers. You can download it here.