Author: Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary goes for a walk in town and meets a few of his friends along the way. They all have a wonderful time exploring the streets until they suddenly encounter Scarface Claw, the toughest cat in the city, causing all the dogs to run for home.

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy is full of wonderful illustrations which help to bring this family-favourite story to life.

Here are my top Hairy Maclary From Donsldson’s Dairy activities you can do with your child to help support his/her speech & language development:

1. Due to the number of rhyming words in this story it makes it the perfect opportunity to work on your child’s awareness of rhyming words. When you initially read the book, you can place an emphasis on the rhyming words on each page. 

For example:

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy

“Bottomless Potts covered in spots

“Bitzer Maloney all skinny and bony

“A scatter of paws and a clatter of claws

On your second and third readings of the story you can point out the rhyming words as you come across them e.g. “Listen. “yowl” sounds like “howl”. They rhyme. The end of the words sound the same”. 

Encourage your child to find the words that rhyme in the story. You can explain to them that you are looking for words that sound the same at the end, but remind them that these words might not be spelt the same. 

When your child is consistently able to recognise the rhyming words in the story you can then encourage him or her to come up with their own words. You can say “Can you think of another word that rhymes with Potts and spots?”. 

2. Due to the clear sequence of events throughout this story it makes it the perfect story to work on your child’s narrative/story telling skills.

Encourage your child to tell you what happened in the story focusing on the following elements: 

  • who?
  • What doing?
  • What?
  • Where?

Use the pictures created by author and illustrator Lynley Dodd when you are reading the story to your child to engage his/ her attention throughout. Introduce a new character each time someone appears. Get your child to hold up the different characters each time they appear in the story.

3. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy is full of wonderful adjectives to describe the book’s colourful characters. Print a copy of each of the characters above and spend time with your child coming up with all of the adjectives you can think of to describe the characters (e.g. fluffy, tall).

I hope you enjoy reading the book and carrying out these activities with your child. I’d love to know which activity was your favourite?

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