10 World book day activities and ideas

In honour of world book day here are 10 simple and fun book related activities to try. From sensory and small world play to magic potions, spider web catchers, homemade scarecrows and lickable wallpaper.

1. Goldilocks and the three bears

Feeding baby bear porridge is a great activity for developing fine motor skills and stimulating imaginative play. All you need is a cardboard box and some oats or cereal and a spoon.


First you need to draw, paint or stick a picture of a baby bear onto the card board box. Then cut a hole for the mouth. The children can then have fun spoon feeding the bear porridge oats or cereal.


You could also play games like musical chairs or sing songs like “Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around”

2. The Hungry Caterpillar

Another easy activity for little learners that helps develop fine motor skills. This time the children can enjoy feeding the hungry caterpiller different types of food.


All you need is a cardboard box and some jam jar lids. Simply draw or paint a Hungry Caterpiller figure onto the box and cut a slot in the mouth area thats wide enough to post the jam jar lids through.


You can draw, paint or stick pictures of food onto the jam jar lids. Then the children can have fun feeding them to the caterpiller.


Children can also have a go at growing thier very own cress seed caterpiller. You can find the full photo guide to making Cress Seed Caterpillers here.

3. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt sensory trail.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a great book to encourage the children to act along to as you read. You can even create a sensory trail for them to follow or walk through as you sing or read the story lines out loud together and go on your very own bear hunt.


First you need ‘Swishy swashy grass’ you could use actual grass for this or shredded green paper, green fabric or a green rug.


Next you need a container of water or blue fabric to ‘Splosh, Splash’ across the river in. (You can find lotd of sensory water play ideas here.)


Then ‘Mud, thick oozy mud’ you could use actual mud or makes fake mud using cornflour and cocoa powder mixed with water.


For the stumbling and tripping through the forest you could use tree branches, twigs and leaves.


And for the Snow storm, you could blow bubbles or use flour, white shredded paper or cotton balls.


Finally for the deep dark cave you could make a cave tent or tunnel using blankets and chair with a toy teddy bear at the end for the children to find.

4. Ocean and Sealife themed small world and sensory play

There are so many great ocean and sealife themed books to read on world book day. For example The Rainbow Fish, Tiddler, Commotion in the Ocean and The Snail, and the Whale to name a few.


Its so easy to set up an inviting sea themed small world for pretend play and sensory exploration. You could easily just use water and sand with beach toys, boats and sea creatures.


We’ve previously used coloured and scented rice, sea toys and shells to create an inviting seascape for the children to explore.

Jelly also adds a great sensory element to small world and pretend play. You can easily create an inviting ocean or beach themed set up using jelly for the sea and crumbled biscuits for the sand.


You can use sea themed toy animals, toy boats, seashells (make sure they are clean) and fake seaweed to complete your set up. You can even set some of the toy fish or sea creatures into the jelly itself.


If its a polar or polar animal themed book you could make blocks of ice to float in the water  by freezing water in different recycled containers.


You can also learn more about the Arctic and Antarctic here.

5. George’s Marvellous Medicine

George’s Marvellous Medicine was one of my favourites books as a child. I loved the idea of making my own medicine and potions using the things you find around you.


Its a great way to involve mud kitchen play in world book day. The children can have fun making up thier own potions and concoctions using any natural materials they find around them. Or you could give them water and different materials to experiment and play with.


How about asking the children to imagine what the potions could do? Can they shrink things? grow things? What kind of medicine would they like to make?

6. Witch and Wizard themed books

There are also a lot of fun and interesting Witch and Wizard themed booms to read to children of all ages. From Room on a Broom, Meg and Mog and What’s in the Witches Kitchen to The Worst Witch, Harry Potter and Winnie the Witch.


You could have fun making fizzing and bubbling magic potions, by using kitchen cupboard ingredients to create an exciting chemical reaction. (You can find a full guide to making the potions using acid and alkali here.)


Or how about having a go at making your own wands and broomsticks (Click here to find the full instructions)

7. Charlie and the chocolate factory activities.

Another fantastic Roald Dahl book that older children will enjoy. How about making your own lickable flavoured wallpaper using skittles. (Full instructions here).


Or you could have fun making your own multicoloured or decorative chocolates. (Full instructions here.)


8. Charlotte’s web

As Charlotte’s Web so wonderfully explains, Spider webs are beautiful, intricate and fascinating. It’s easy to study and look at spider webs more closely using a simple to make spider web catching frame.


All you need to make a spider web frame is some string, a long forked stick or branch and another shorter stick to form the top of the frame.


Simply tie the shorter stick across the top of your forked branch to form a triangular frame.

Then all you need to do is look for a spider. Place your spider web frame as close to the spider as you can without disturbing it. If you are outside it is best to push the stick firmly into the ground to keep it upright.


Now all you need to do is wait for an opportunistic spider to start using your stick frame as a home for its web. When a spider does move in, its fascinating to watch them hard at work spinning and weaving their webs out of protein fibres that form the silk.

9. The Scarecrows Wedding

Scarecrows are surprisingly simple to make. You just need some old clothes and two pieces of wood to make the frame. How about making a scarecrow like the one in the Scarecrows Wedding. You can find full instructions to make your own scarecrow here.


10. What the Ladybird heard

Painted pebbles and rocks are fun to use in role play. You could easily make you own little pebble ladybirds to play along with to What the Ladybird Heard.


Once you have finished painting your pebbles you could hide them in your garden or classroom and have a treasure hunt to find them.

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