Roald Dahl Day: five ways to celebrate

James and the Giant Peach, Quentin Blake
While there’s always a reason to enjoy and celebrate the amazing books that Roald Dahl wrote, make a special effort on Roald Dahl Day to organise phizz-whizzingly brilliant activities and scrumdiddlyumptious treats!

Get ready to enter the wonderful world of whangdoodles, snozzberries and whizpoppers! Here are some age-appropriate, fantabulous ideas to bring Roald Dahl's beloved characters and stories to life for your kids on Roald Dahl Day (celebrated every year on 13 September, which was the author's birthday).

Reception

Read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out loud to your child, or listen to it together on CD. Then, come up with your own Willy Wonka-inspired sweets.

Years 1-2 (Age 6-7)

Help your child dress up as their favourite Roald Dahl character, and pretend to be that character for the day. For instance, your child can try to speak like the BFG, or remember all the adventures in the giant peach. On Dahlicious Dress Up Day schoolchildren all over the UK dress up as their favourite Roald Dahl characters to raise funds for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, which helps seriously ill and disabled children.

If you’re stuck for costume ideas, here are some home-made Roald Dahl Day dress-up suggestions; we've also got 12 no-sew Roald Dahl costume ideas (perfect for non-crafty mums!).

Years 3-4 (Age 8-9)

Lots of Dahl’s books have been turned into films, so how about inviting friends to a Roald Dahl film party? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (either version), James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr.Fox and Matilda are all great choices. 

Liven things up with a special Roald Dahl quiz – you can prepare questions, winners’ certificates and more. If you're planning a book-themed even everything you need to help you organise a Peach Party or a BFG Whizzpopping Party is included in the free, downloadable packs on the Roald Dahl Day website.

Years 5-6 (Ages 10-11)

If your kids already know the Roald Dahl books really well, bring the author himself to life by visiting the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.

See the area Dahl lived and wrote in for more than 30 years, and take part in storytelling, craft sessions and special events scheduled for each month.

Year 7 (Age 12)

Set your children a challenge to see how many Roald Dahl books they can read in a week, especially if there are any titles they haven’t picked up yet. There are well over 40 books and short story collections – over 20 aimed at children – so there’s plenty to choose from! How about turning it into a way to raise money for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity by getting friends and family to pledge a certain amount of money for each book your kids read?

Other ideas:

  • The BFG was 30 last year! Why not write about your silliest, craziest dream and design a dream jar label for it to celebrate?
  • Visit the Roald Dahl Day website to download party packs, quizzes and more.
  • Read the books shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, dedicated to finding the best new comic writing for young people in the UK.
  • Take part in a Puffin Virtually Live interactive webcast on Friday 13th September. Hosted by Michael Rosen, former Children’s Laureate and author of children’s biography Fantastic Mr Dahl, Michael will be in conversation with Roald Dahl’s daughter, Lucy Dahl, the inspiration for Matilda, finding out about the mischief and mayhem her father got up to at home and in the writing of his work. There will also be a live performance of “Naughty” from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical.

Photo credit: Quentin Blake illustrations from James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, published by Puffin books. © Quentin Blake