How much are we really spending on World Book Day?
Thursday 4th March 2021 is World Book Day, and with it comes a whole host of emotions, especially for parents. For most it’s an enjoyable day for their children, where they are encouraged to read or listen to their favourite stories. Whereas for others, it’s all about the impressiveness of their child’s costume. But at what cost?
A recent survey from nursery chain, Kiddi Caru, delved into the topic of World Book Day, and the thoughts and feelings it conjures up for a selected number of parents. With 750 parents participating, it seems the debates that surround the event were pretty evenly matched, in terms of opinions. Although majority of families look forward to the book-themed day (74% to be precise), the costume element can cause unnecessary stress and additional expense.
Is there too much pressure on parents for World Book Day?
At school there seems to be an increasing number of days or events that require our children to dress up, and it can be overwhelming to remember all the different dates and requirements of each day. Therefore, it’s understandable that, in the same survey, just over half of parents thought there was an expectation for their child to wear a costume for World Book Day. But has this overshadowed the true meaning of the day?
The survey also shows that 51% of parents believe that there is too much emphasis on the costumes alone, rather than nurturing the love of reading and feeding the imagination. One in four (28%) parents also admitted to feeling pressure or judgement from other parents when it came to their child’s costume. However, only 19% of those surveyed said that it was important for their little one to have an impressive costume. This leads onto the debate about whether the costume should be homemade or bought…
Handmade vs bought costumes
For those who decide to make their costume (40% according to the survey), it is more time than expense that they will spend – although this doesn’t take into account any money spent on materials and accessories. But out of those who go for the handmade option, around 52% of them spend a few hours perfecting the look, and nearly one in five reported that they take more than a day to complete the World Book Day costume. It’s no surprise then, with this amount of time taken to make a costume, that 57% of parents do not enjoy doing it. Maybe, just as the day is meant to be spurring children and their families to read together, so should parents be encouraged to make the chosen costume with their children – it is for them after all. Under half of those surveyed said that their child is involved in the creative process, so maybe everyone should follow suit and potentially make it a more enjoyable experience.
As aforementioned, with pressure on parents and the perceived need for an impressive costume, it seems that most opt for a shop bought costume, with 60% of those surveyed forking out for their child’s outfit. This tends to be an easier option, but as a result, how much are parents really spending on this one event…
How much are parents spending on World Book Day?
Taking the plunge and simply buying a costume for your children for World Book day can be easier, but can also make a dent in your wallet. A staggering 57% of parents said they would happily spend up to £30 on a character’s outfit, with some even moving into the £30 to £50 bracket, and one participant revealing they would spend in excess of £50!
When you begin to consider the number of children in school expected to celebrate World Book day with a costume, and the total amount then spent on these outfits, the figures soon stack up. Currently, there are approximately 4,850,000 primary and pre-school children in the UK, and if you calculate the total expenditure based on these survey results, the UK could see a huge £55 million spent on costumes alone for just one event.
Perhaps the money would be more wisely spent on learning and World Book Day resources that could then be put back into the schools our children attend, and encourage more reading in an effort to improve their education. What do you think?