When you think of World Book Day what memories does it evoke in you?
Personally, as a child I recall dressing up as various characters and maybe taking my favourite book into school. As an early years practitioner, I have worked in various settings where parents are encouraged to dress their children in various shop bought, manufactured costumes of popular characters. As a parent, I have stretched pennies to buy costumes for my children in order to allow them to dress up and not feel “left out” when they are in childcare. From these three personal experiences, it saddens me to realise that the key ingredient is missing. Have you figured it out? That’s right… BOOKS! Where is the focus on books? Why aren’t we encouraging children to bring in a story from home to share? Or even sharing a wealth of amazing children’s literature with others and offering support in the form of an education to parents on the importance of sharing stories with our children? This year, for my own children (just to inform those that may be new here, I have two children aged 4 and 2) I am boycotting fancy dress and stressing about wearing a costume. Instead, I will be encouraging my children to take their favourite book to their childminder’s on Thursday. Last year we dressed up and I spent a good few days panicking about the fact I didn’t know what to dress the kids in, I even spent silly money on buying Cassius a costume he wore once! Not again!
Let’s explore a bigger question here. If World Book Day isn’t about dressing up at school or nursery then what on earth is it all about? World Book Day is a registered charity with the aim of providing children with the opportunity to read and explore books. World Book Day is about invoking a love of reading to our children. In an age of extensive overload with screens, reading is something that is often missed. Far too often, children are encouraged to watch something on a tablet, or watch television, or play on a games console… and reading a book is seen as far too much of an effort. Schools send home reading logs and track how often parents read with their children, some children don’t even have books at home (a thought that saddens me deeply, I honestly think I have enough children’s books in my house to open my own library!).
If you are stuck in a rut with World Book Day and dreading trying to fix together an outfit this post by the ladies from The Curiosity Approach has some great ideas for alternative ways to celebrating World Book Day and make it a celebration of books again rather than a fancy dress parade. If you want more information about what exactly World Book Day is then read here for more information.
What are your thoughts on World Book Day? Why not let me know in the comments below!