Educational Activities for Dogger by Shirley Hughes

Dogger, by Shirley Hughes is a timeless classic picture book aimed for young children. It is about a young boy called Dave who loves his cuddly toy called Dogger. One day he loses his beloved toy and is distraught. The activities for Dogger are based on the revised Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. 

Communication and language

During the story the children can share ideas about what they think will happen next, such as whether or not Dogger will be found. They can also talk about who the different characters are and share opinions about how Dave feels. After listening to the whole of the story the children can then talk about the key events in the book and express their own views about the story.


Shirley Hughes has written many books so there is plenty of opportunity for children to have access of a wide range of books by the same author or compare her story with other picture book authors. In the story words such as “mum” “dad” “Dogger” and “Bella” are phonetic which will allow readers to try and link sounds to words when reading and writing.


Dogger is Dave’s favourite toy. This is an ideal opportunity for a teacher led activity on tally charts, bar graphs or a table to collate data on favourite toys. The illustrations have opportunities for counting, such as counting the number of particular items on a page such as windows, or characters. There are also patterns in the pictures such as stripy pajamas. These can be discussed and children may recreate their own patterns based on the text. There is the use of positional language such as under and behind when describing how mum looks for the cuddly toy. It also talks about different days of the week so it ideal for recapping the different days of the week.

Physical Development

During their PE lesson as a whole class or in small groups, the children can move in different ways to retell the story of Dogger.  This can be linked to expressive arts if they decide to mime the story. 

Understanding the world

Dave and his family take a journey. The children can think about how they get to school. Some may walk and live very close to school, others may have a lift to school or catch a bus.  The children can also think about the kind of material the soft toy is made up of. This links in with topics on toys, or materials. This also links in with family life. Dave has a sister called Bella and a brother called Joe and the children can draw pictures to show members of their family unit.

Expressive arts and design

The children can use different kinds of media to explore the themes of the story. They can draw, paint and use fabric to provide a collage of Dogger. Using the role play area, a group of children can re-enact the ideas in the story. Music can be used to explore feelings, such as slow music to show sadness and a quick tempo to show excitement at finding Dogger again. The children can use mime to express the feelings of the characters.

In conclusion the above activities show how Dogger can be used in Foundation Stage. However some of the themes, such as loss, worry and sharing are ones that can easily be adapted for older children in the primary setting.