A CHILDCARE provider is sharing its top tips to unleash a child’s creativity through storytelling and crafts.

One of children’s most loved traditions, World Book Day, is seen by a majority of parents as a perfect opportunity to encourage their children to talk about their favourite books, according to a survey of 1,350 parents from Busy Bees nurseries.

Although there is no obligation to dress up, 63 per cent of parents enjoy celebrating the day with their child. However, when it comes to sourcing an outfit for the big day, which takes place tomorrow (March 5), 39 per cent per cent of parents turn to shops every year, with just 15 per cent creating a homemade outfit.

Send photos of your child's outfit for World Book Day to grace.walton@newsquest.co.uk

Here are some top tips for World Book Day, or how to get in your child's good books.

1. Don’t overthink it

The simplest ideas are often the best ones, as many famous book characters wear ordinary clothes. All it takes is one or two special accessories to make the outfit really stand out.

Charlie Bucket, the hero of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, a children’s favourite, wears normal winter clothes – just add a golden ticket, which can be made at home with the children or printed, and a chocolate bar with printed or handmade ‘Wonka Bar’ wrapping.

Paddington Bear’s iconic look can be recreated using a blue coat and a red hat, while an old witches’ hat and a broomstick can be used for a Room on the Broom inspired costume. Leggings, a black leotard and a red ribbon can also be used as part of a ‘Cat in the Hat’ outfit – you can work together with your child to make the top hat at home using paint and cardboard, doubling up as an easy creative activity that everyone will enjoy.

2. Stripes – the possibilities are endless

A striped top is a great starting point for an array of costumes, and a fantastic way to stimulate a child’s imagination, as so many of popular characters wear them.

Examples include Wally of ‘Where’s Wally’, a school library staple – just add a bobble hat and a pair of round glasses. Burglar Bill is also a great way to capitalise on a striped top. To complete the look, use a tote bag as a money sack, create a mask out of old black cardboard and top it off with a flat cap.

3. Don’t neglect your classics

Most popular book characters have highly distinguishable features, making them a tried and tested formula for World Book Day. Some of them are perfect last-minute costume ideas, and don’t involve a lengthy and complicated crafting process – leaving more time for reading.

Harry Potter is a great example: the British wizard is well-known worldwide for his round glasses and a unique lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead, which can easily be recreated with makeup. You can also recycle an old Halloween costume to create a wizard robe – just use a drumstick or twig as a magic wand, and voila!

Alternatively, using a pair of blue shorts, a red fleece and a large blue beanie, complete with a dotted scarf – these are all you need to dress your child as Noddy, a great choice for younger children.

4. Using household items

Another option is the beloved Stick Man. Using two, flattened, brown cardboard boxes and felt tip pens, draw on tree rings to create the texture of a tree trunk. Wrap the largest cardboard box into a cylindrical shape, create two arm holes, and glue together. Use the remaining cardboard to create a hat, draw on a face and add leaves.

5. Go matching!

Matching costumes are bigger than ever, and there’s no reason why parents shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon to stimulate siblings’ imaginations, while saving time and reducing waste by reusing similar materials. Examples include Thing One and Thing Two from the ‘Cat in the Hat’ book, which only require red onesies and light blue beanies, or Tweedledum and Tweedledee from ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Dorothy and the Tin Man from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ are also great World Book Day ideas. The Tin Man costume can easily be made at home using foil and carboard, while a Dorothy outfit can be quickly pulled together using a blue dress paired with a white shirt, bright red shoes and a picnic basket.