Six ways you and your family can celebrate Roald Dahl Day

On the 13th September readers across the world celebrated Roald Dahl Day, and found lots of silly and fun ways to pay tribute to one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors. We are big fans here at Blue Forest, because Roald Dahl celebrates the wonderful innocence of children’s imaginations.

During his career Roald Dahl wrote over twenty books for children, including Charlie and the

Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG and James and the Giant Peach. His stories have inspired Oscar-nominated films and iconic cake-eating scenes, as well as  generations of children around the world.

There are plenty of fun and exciting ways to celebrate Dahl’s work, while you may not feel quite ready for an oompa loompa skydive, we have gathered together eight of our favourite activities for you and your family to try.

1. Get reading

Roald Dahl loved reading almost as much as he loved writing and now that the seasons are changing, it’s the perfect time to find a cozy nook and re-read some of his most famous creations, or even to discover them for the first time. (Younger children might prefer reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or The Enormous Crocodile before moving onto the scarier books like The Witches!)

If you’ve read all of Dahl’s stories then you can check out some of the novels that inspired him, such as The Secret Garden and Swallows and Amazons. Alternatively you can follow in the footsteps of Mathilda and discover the literary classics that became her favourites, such as Great Expectations, Animal Farm and Jane Eyre.

2. Spend a day in the great outdoors

Spend a day in the woods and you might just run into The Fantastic Mr Fox.

Spend a day in the woods and you might just run into The Fantastic Mr Fox.

Roald Dahl wrote a number of books celebrating the magic of the great outdoors, from the larger-than-life adventures of James and the Giant Peach to the whimsical charm of Fantastic Mr Fox.

Why not head out for a walk through the woods and see if you can spot any of the characters from his best-known works? Can you spot a fox, a badger, a rabbit or one of the insects that James finds in the peach?

Check out our Bird’s Nest treehouse and imagine what it would be like to live up in the trees like the Gregg family in The Magic Finger. Climb a tree and see if you enjoy seeing the world from a bird’s point of view!

3. Dress up as your favourite Roald Dahl hero (or villain)

It is hard to think of an author that has created quite as many great characters for dressing up. Naturally Dahl is a go-to author for children dressing up (especially for World Book Day). You can take the opportunity to pull out all the stops with a winning costume.

Whether you dress up as Willy Wonka or an oompa loompa, a Twit or the BFG, roalddahl.com provides great costume ideas and dressing up tips (including costumes for grownups!).

4. Have a Roald Dahl-inspired picnic

They might not be giant, but the sweet smell of ripe peaches will get you in the perfect mood to relive the adventures of James.

They might not be giant, but the sweet smell of ripe peaches will get you in the perfect mood to relive the adventures of James.

While the food in Dahl’s novels may not always sound completely appetising (we’re looking at you, worm spaghetti!) you can celebrate Roald Dahl in style by trying to recreate some of his more outlandish culinary inventions.

Here is a recipe for the infamous Bruce Bogtrotter cake, which poor Bruce has to eat whole in Matilda. You can also make a tasty James and the Giant Peach smoothie or experiment with some completely revolting recipes.

5. Roald Dahl movie night

A number of Dahl’s stories have been adapted into films and TV programmes, and a great way to celebrate Roald Dahl is to have a movie marathon and see how the films compare to your favourite books.

Whether you might prefer the stop-motion animated Wes Anderson-directed Fantastic Mr Fox, a star-studded TV adaption of Esio Trot, or the classic 60’s musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, you are sure to have great fun revisiting these.

Here’s a full list of the Roald Dahl stories that have been adapted for the big or small screen.

6. Get writing

Throw away the rulebook and make up new words, or new meanings for old ones!

Throw away the rulebook and make up new words, or new meanings for old ones!

Roald Dahl books aren’t just fun to read, they are also great as starting point for your own writing. Make up some words and decide what they mean, compose a few revolting rhymes or invent some spells you might cast if you were a witch or wizard.

The BFG in particular was full of nonsensical made-up words, see if you can guess what they might mean or make up some new definitions.

You can even start writing your own magical stories, just as long as you follow one of Dahl’s strictest writing rules: don’t gobblefunk around with words.