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School activities - world books day

(19 Posts)
biglouis Sat 05-Mar-22 03:20:38

Lots of discussion about currently how these are "homework for parents" and can be quite expensive for low income families with competetive school mums.

There were very few of these when I was in school (1950s). Once a year we were taken into the city center to the philharminic hall for an orchestra concert. The concert was free but I dreaded asking my parents for the bus fare. Similarly when we were given those horrid little charity envelopes in which we had to put money and get our parents to sign them. If you "forgot" the teachers would nag you and single you out in front of the class.

Knowing I would get snarled at by my parents I usually took mine to my grandmother who put a few pence in to save me embarrassment in front of my classmates. Otherwise I would steal one from my mothers change jar and hope she wouldnt notice.

I know if I had expected my parents to make (or buy) fancy costumes for me I would have been sent away with a scowl.

Galaxy Sat 05-Mar-22 07:57:39

Certainly the schools I am involved with offer a range of options, so non uniform, costumes or pyjamas, obviously this doesnt stop the pressure that people can put on ourselves. Trips are also subsidised for those who receive pupil premium but am sure not all schools do this.

silverlining48 Sat 05-Mar-22 11:00:03

In my gc school as well as providing outfits for world book day parents have to pay fir regular pj, bring a teddy, non uniform days etc. too. If there are two or three children that is expensive. We had none of this when my AC were at school, thank goodness, we woukd have struggled. .

Mollygo Sat 05-Mar-22 11:30:15

It’s a lose lose situation. Costumes cost money and home made costumes cost time and money. Both are in short supply for some families.
We used to do prizes for the best costume (in the days before 20 Frozen Princesses from Sainsbury's or Asda) but there was outcry from opposing parental sides about that.
Then there’s the photos.
Why isn’t there a class photo of my child’s class in costume? All the other classes did it (not true, but many did).
My child didn’t have a costume so why is he/she on the front row? / Is my child in the back row just because he/she didn’t have a costume?
I do my best by reading Elmer in the days before WBD, making Elmer stickers and reminding the children that they can come as Elmer -he was the only animal not in costume on his special day, but it doesn’t always help.
This year, we didn’t stop costumes, but we asked every child to bring in their favourite book and made time to share them on WBD or after. That worked fine. Maybe next year we could just do that-but we’ll risk being called mean by some. Hey ho!

Yammy Sat 05-Mar-22 12:04:06

My DD gets around this by dressing DG in her own clothes she was "Katie Morag", wellies,kilt and cream jumper. She has a favourite book about a zoo and she took a collection of soft animals in a mesh bag and wore her own leggings and her dad's hat and a magnifying glass. My DD refuses to take part in one upman ship.
Child of a teacher she has heard all the awful tales I have come home with.sad

biglouis Sat 05-Mar-22 13:08:01

Some of the threads I hear about how parents are prepared to jump through hoops to allow their children to fit in amaze me. My sister an I just had to get on with it at school and if we didnt have what the others had we learned to live with it.

When I was 14 going on 15 the school organized a trip to Paris. In those days very few people had the opportunity to travel abroad uness they were very well off or their parents were in the military or diplomatic corps. I was very good at French and my parents were offered a bursury to pay my fees for the trip. My father refused to sign the consent form because he said it would give me "unrealistic ideas above my class". I had to watch all my friends departing for Paris - even the ones who were poor at French. I will never forget the humiliation or of trying to pretend I did not care.

My sister also did French and by the time her time came (7 year age gap) I was working and contributing to the family budget. She was not interested in going and dropped French in her fourth year.

At the time I remember telling my father I would never forgive him and that one day "I would travel the world and paty for it with my own money." That earned me a whalloping for being cheeky. I often threw it back in his face when he was older. But I kept my word and travelled to many interesting places, some of who it is difficult or impossible to visit today.

GrannyLaine Sat 05-Mar-22 13:24:31

Our grandchildren came home from school on World Book Day having had a wonderful time: a whole day of planned activities on the theme of reading and NOT A COSTUME IN SIGHT. They built book dens, they wrote stories in groups and acted them out, they had an outdoor treasure hunt for hidden 'book covers' school lunch menus were re-named after book characters and donated books were hidden around the village for other children to find These contained a review of a similar book that the child had read and enjoyed to encourage the finder to try another book. Isn't this just the spirit of what WBD should be about?

Mollygo Sat 05-Mar-22 14:08:57

GrannyLaine, Yes! Now you just have to convince all the parents.

Josieann Sat 05-Mar-22 14:12:22

I understand what several posters are saying, but it is these special days where children can dress up and make their decision as to which character they want to be that they remember for a long time after.

growstuff Sat 05-Mar-22 14:21:44

Mollygo I wish you'd been my children's teacher. You wouldn't have had to convince me.

MissAdventure Sat 05-Mar-22 14:42:10

By the time your child is almost ready for senior school and needs to be wearing adult sized clothes, they're usually totally uninterested in dressing up.

It is lovely when they're little, but like most things, is spoilt by people buying or taking weeks to make costumes.
(Which, incidentally, doesn't make them better readers)

Josieann Sat 05-Mar-22 15:09:24

By the time your child is almost ready for senior school and needs to be wearing adult sized clothes, they're usually totally uninterested in dressing up

I agree, so much can be gained from pretend play and escapism at that young age.

MissAdventure Sat 05-Mar-22 15:17:05

I can remember my grandsons wanting to go as particular characters, and being told "oh no you're not! You'll be 'where's Wally' because it's easier!" grin

Grayling Sat 05-Mar-22 15:51:53

New headmistress at my DGS school and it was announced there would be no dressing up for WBD. The last headmistress made a big thing of it - even the teachers dressed up but after doing this for many years most families were relieved and my DGS who is now in P7 was delighted. They were asked to bring a book in good condition for a book swop which worked really well and his class teacher showed a video link with the author Eion Culford which went down well with the class. I had never heard of him so DGS and I watched various You Tube videos from him that evening and they were brilliant so all in all a good day with not a penny spent!!

Callistemon21 Sat 05-Mar-22 16:53:55

I don't know what happened on World Book Day this year at the DGC's schools and there was none of this when I was young. However, there were some school trips, how my mother found the money for me to go to Stratford Theatre etc I don't know (unless it was free, I don't remember).
However, my friend went to Switzerland with school, how I longed to go but it was out of the question.

When the DC were young my heart sank if they came home and said there was fancy dress. Out would come the sewing machine; the boys wanted to be pirates so that was simple enough but the girls were more difficult!

Callistemon21 Sat 05-Mar-22 16:56:12


^By the time your child is almost ready for senior school and needs to be wearing adult sized clothes, they're usually totally uninterested in dressing up^

I agree, so much can be gained from pretend play and escapism at that young age.

It often coincides with St David's Day so there are two in a week.
Older primary girls do not want to wear Welsh costume generally, so there are enough rugby shirts to fill a stadium.

Josieann Sat 05-Mar-22 17:20:04

This would be a good one for the kids and wouldn't cost a penny. Just raid Grandma's wardrobe and stuff a sack full of kitchen cutlery! (no knives, of course).

Grandma2213 Sun 06-Mar-22 03:53:52

My grandaughters' school asked them all to choose a word to learn, write on a card and wear round their neck or pinned on. They could dress accordingly or not if they did not want to. One chose 'flexible' and wore her track suit and the other 'insomniac', in pyjamas with messy sleep hair.

LullyDully Sun 06-Mar-22 08:22:29

It is time to tone the whole thing down. The chosen word is a good idea. My Gsons school went as different coloured crayons depending on the year group. Someone with an imagination probably knew how to link it to reading.