All About Hairy Maclary Learning Time

Resource type: 
Learning Time







All About Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd 

Meet mischievous Hairy Maclary and his rollicking gang in this delightful book for babies. 

A shaped board book about Lynley Dodd's most delightful canine character that's perfectly pitched for babies and toddlers. Hairy Maclary is a rascally dog, he's a playful dog and a hungry dog. 

Wherever Hairy Maclary goes, trouble is never far away! Find out all about the raggedy rascal in this delightful introduction to the bestselling Hairy Maclary and Friends series by Lynley Dodd. 

Key Message for Parents | The brain develops through use. 

Some ideas to share with parents/carers are: 

  • Read books with their babies from birth - it's never too early to start. 
  • Babies and toddlers have a strong attachment with a loved one, positive shared experiences such as reading, rhyming and singing build this bond, and connections in the brain. 
  • Repeat the book often as repetition builds language development through strong brain connections. 
  • Respond to your baby's attempts to communicate by talking back to them. 


Australian Early Years Learning Framework | Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators 

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes. 

Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts.


Before Reading 

As the Story Time Presenter you can assist parents in making the most of sharing books with their baby. Inform parents/families that they can attend Story Time, or when they are at home they can choose a time when their baby is content and alert enough to enjoy the time together. Explain that they do not have read the whole story word for word, but be ready to finish when baby loses interest. Other tips for parents include: 

  • Be enthusiastic saying how happy you are to be together. 
  • Ask your child what they think the book is about by looking at the cover and asking enquiring questions and observations like 'what do you see, do you know what it is?, look! It's a dog'. 
  • Introduce the book name, author (the person who writes the story) and illustrator (the person who draws the pictures). This book is by Lynley Dodd. 
  • Show how to read a book, the front, the back, the direction of reading and use your finger to trace the direction of the words. 
  • Be enthusiastic about books, demonstrate your love of books and how special they are. 


During Reading 

You may want to use this session as an opportunity to role-model to parents and families some positive ways to share books and stories. 

  • Look interested in the book. It's important to relax and enjoy the time together. 
  • Point to the page and describe what you see, use clear language. Repetition is great. 
  • Watch each child's engagement, allow them to point, talk/babble and respond to them. 
  • Let them touch the book and guide the interaction. It's ok to skip pages, and not finish the book. You do not have to read every word or explain everything. Keep it fun. 
  • Talk about what you see on the page. You can ask them to predict what the words say or what will happen next. Children can use the picture to prompt them, and also the sound of the rhyming word: hairy and maclary. 
  • Explain tricky words like rascally, cheeky, racing try alternative words like naughty, silly, running. 


After Reading 

After reading show that you enjoyed the book by saying something positive about it. Also remind parents that even though their child may be a young baby it is important for them to experience stories, talking and conversation. Their child may not be old enough to respond with words, but they will respond with a babble, a look, a smile or by touching the book. 

  • Ask if your child enjoyed it. Offer to read it again, then or another time. 
  • Talk about what was in the book, repeat words in the book, and explain anything that is unknown. 

For full Learning Time please download the attached PDF



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