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Movement Grows Learning! What do Foveal and Peripheral Vision Refer To?

In babies and very young children, the muscles in the eyes develop sequentially and are intimately related to the development of the central nervous system. In infancy and early childhood, peripheral vision is the first function to develop naturally, followed by the development of foveal vision.

Foveal refers to up-close, two-dimensional viewing used for activities such as reading and writing. Peripheral and three-dimensional vision refers to what we see beyond the foveal center, reaching to the mid and far boundaries of our vision as a whole. Foveal function allows us to focus in on and track details, while peripheral vision allows us to take in the environment all around us. Each is critically important.

There’s a great book by Carla Hannaford entitled, Smart Moves, published by Great Ocean Publishers. This book looks at how movement nourishes the brain and is essential in the developing years. In Chapter 6, Hannaford describes how the eye muscles strengthen as they move in response to head movement. This happens when the vestibular system is activated. The more the eyes move, the more the muscles of both eyes work together, and the more connections are made to the brain.

Time spent in sedentary positions for very young children can inhibit the natural development of eye muscle strengthening, teaming and tracking. Giving babies and young children lots of opportunities to move and express physically helps to stimulate the vestibular system, and helps the eye muscles to strengthen and grow in concert.

In the short video clip above, I’m speaking at a Movement Grows Learning Workshop about foveal and peripheral vision.

Enjoy!

Movement Grows Learning! Right/Left Hemispheres of the Brain

Did you know that the right and left hemispheres of the brain are responsible for different functions? I’ve learned it’s very important in the developing years to nourish both sides of the brain in order to make sure the whole child is engaged in the learning process.

The ‘left’ hemisphere is primarily responsible for decoding information. It categorizes, labels, makes lists, organizes, computes, penetrates math equations, and problem solves. The ‘right’ hemisphere absorbs information through the feelings, and through the sensation of light, color, sound, movement, touch, shape, scent, and design. True learning allows all our senses and abilities to be engaged when acquiring new skills!

What is this?
Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.17.50 PM

To one part of the brain this concept is represented by the symbols: C A T.
To another part, it is represented by something soft and furry that makes the sound M E O W.

Both are true! Children should be encouraged to play with different styles and ‘sides’ of learning in order to discover and develop from an inner, individual motivation. Providing a ‘multi-sensory’ approach to learning stimulates both hemispheres of the brain, and allows learning to go deeper.

I’ve included a short video segment (see above) from a workshop I gave in Poughkeepsie, NY on Movement Grows Learning, along with a short clip from a concert where we’re singing and playing with scarves.
Enjoy!

Movement Grows Learning! with Tick Tock

Have you ever heard the term ‘vestibular’? I learned about it when studying Infant Development at the School for Body Mind Centering in Amherst, MA.

Vestibular comes from the word vestibule, referring to a gateway or opening between two places. Located in the central part of the inner ear labyrinth, the vestibular system is responsible for coordinating movement with balance.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 8.49.32 PMIt sends signals to the neural structures that control eye movements, and to the muscles that keep us upright. It’s also intimately connected with learning to read. The brain uses information from the vestibular system to interpret our body’s position and acceleration in space.


For very young children, stimulation to this system is extremely pleasing! It’s like ‘brain food’. Rocking, turning, swinging, bouncing, tipping, jumping and rolling all stimulate and nourish the brain in the developing years.

I hope you enjoy this short video clip about the vestibular system from a developmental workshop I gave in Poughkeepsie, NY, and, an event at a library in Connecticut.

Click here to download my Tick Tock song (Circle Songs CD, 2005) for free!

Enjoy!

circlesongbook sukeymolloy

 

Tick Tock

Lyrics…

Follow movement indications in italics throughout the song

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘ticking ‘ on the dot.
(Stand or sit and rock side to side with arms outstretched)

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘ringing ‘ on the dot.
(Raise arms in air and wiggle hands)

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘chiming ‘ on the dot.
(Sound the chiming with arms overhead, opening and closing arms)

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘spinning ‘ on the dot.
(Turn in place while seated, or stand and turn)

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘clapping ‘ on the dot.
(Clap in rhythm)

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘hopping ‘ on the dot.
(Stand and hop in place to rhythm, or bounce on knees)

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘jumping ‘ on the dot.
(Jump in place to rhythm, or bounce on knees)

Tick tock, tick tock, I have a little clock,
Tick tock, tick tock, it’s ‘sleeping ‘ on the dot.
(Lay down and pretend to sleep, shhh…)

Movement Grows Learning! with Pat the Ball

Did you know that ‘Developmental’ refers to a gradual unfolding process? It indicates a series of progressive stages passing through milestones that lead to growth and further development. My mentor, Dr. Garland O’Quinn, Jr. refers to this unfolding as,

“…An orderly process that develops step by step by step… similar to the analogy of writing music. The basic element is the note, notes are put together to form chords, and chords are written in sequence to develop a musical score.”
Teaching Developmental Gymnastics, Skills to Take Through Life, University of Texas Press

It’s the same with learning how to play ball. There are definite steps along the way. First the child learns how to hold the ball, then to pat it, roll it, bounce it, toss it, pass it to a parent, and eventually to toss it through a hoop! Each new milestone leads to the next stage of learning and creates an invitation for more experimentation.

I hope you find this video clip interesting. It’s from a developmental movement workshop I gave in NJ, and a clip from a class on ball-play. We’re exploring bringing ‘skill based learning’ in a fun and developmentally appropriate way.

Download Pat the Ball (Circle Songs, 2005) for free by clicking on this link.

To order my Circle Songs CD and/or Activity Songbook click here!

  sukeymolloy

Enjoy!

 

Lyrics

Pat the Ball
Circle Songs! CD 2005

Pat, pat, pat the ball,
Pat, pat, pat the ball,
Pat, pat, pat the ball,
Pat the ball to day.

Spin, spin, spin the ball…

Roll, roll, roll on the ball…

Sit, sit, and bounce on the ball…

Toss, toss, toss the ball…

Kick, kick, kick the ball…

Movement Grows Learning: with Open Shut Them

Did you know that ‘proprius’ means ‘one’s own’ or ‘very near’ in Latin? Proprioception refers to the sense information received in the brain from the movement of joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones. The young developing brain is nourished and fed by impressions received directly from the body, providing essential information about ‘oneself’ through sensation.

I thought you’d be interested in a short video clip from a staff development workshop I gave recently in northern New Jersey. I’m presenting early childhood activities based on my Circle Songs CD and Activity Song Book created specifically for the preschool years. In the clip we’re exploring different ways to sing ‘Open Shut Them’ by changing up the lyrics, making tempo changes, and exploring teaching dynamics.

Download Open Shut Them (Circle Songs, 2005) for free by clicking on this link.

To order my Circle Songs CD and/or Activity Songbook click here!

   sukeymolloy

Enjoy!

 

Lyrics
Open Shut Them
Circle Songs! CD  ©2005

Verse 1 – Traditional finger play lyrics:

Open shut them, open shut them, give a little clap,
Open shut them, open shut them, put them in your lap.
Creep them, crawl the, creep them, crawl them, right up to your chin,
Open wide you little mouth, and do not let them in.

Verse 2 – Added body movement lyrics:

Open me, shut me, open me, shut me, give myself a clap,
Open me, shut me, open me, shut me, fold me over in my lap.
Raise me, lower me, right me, left me, turn me all the way around,
Open wide my little self, and do not let me be found.

Verse 3 – Added eye movement lyrics:

Open the eyes, shut them, open the eyes, shut them, give a little blink,
Open the eyes, shut them, open the eyes, shut them, give a little wink.
Look up, look down, look right, look left, circle them all the way around,
Open wide your little eyes and do no let them be found.

Be Happy Don’t Worry!

When I was a little girl, and sometimes felt anxious, my mother would say, “Sukey, be happy, don’t worry. There’s nothing to worry about.” It would give me a different perspective in the moment, and offer a new attitude. I wrote ‘Be Happy Don’t Worry’ to help remember my mother’s advice. I also wanted to share her enthusiastic attitude with children and families everywhere.

When we give children the opportunity to discover positive attitudes through play and learning, while acquiring fine and gross motor skills through playful means, we provide them with skills to take through life. Movement, song, and play stimulate not only learning in the developing years, but give children an important feeling of, ‘I can!’ to share with others.

When you sing, Be Happy Don’t Worry, invite children to try the facial movements along with you as you sing– like this:

…Make a happy face while nodding your head ‘yes’ for “Be happy”, a worried face while nodding ‘no’ for “Don’t worry”, and wagging your pointer finger side to side for “There’s nothing to worry about”.

Try it. It’s fun!

Click here for free download Be Happy Don’t Worry from the CD I Am Happy (2011)
__________________________

The lyrics:

Be happy, don’t worry, there’s nothing to worry about.
Don’t worry be happy, there’s nothing to worry about.

The sun is shining the sky is blue,
The treetops are smiling and so can you.
Be happy, don’t worry, there’s nothing to worry about.

The river is quiet the fish are asleep,
And on their faces a smile they keep!
Be happy, don’t worry, there’s nothing to worry about!

________________________

Enjoy!

These Are My Eyes

I’m delighted to share this very first felt animation that I created for Sukey’s Circle! and which is available on DVD and in audio picture book. I first wrote the song for mothers to sing with their babies during infant massage sessions. And the song later evolved into a felt art activity to share with toddlers and preschoolers while singing and moving.

As I watched the first felt images come to life in the animation studio, I was truly touched. The gentleness and sweetness in babies and children when they’re first discovering the mystery of being in a body was, for me, important to convey through the music and colorful images.

I hope you enjoy the video, and that you’ll download the new coloring page to go with it! Just click on the image below. And I hope you’ll consider downloading These Are My Eyes from Itunes (from Circle Songs with Sukey Molloy), and the longer version on the Sukey’s Circle! DVD (Vol. 1) on Amazon or at: www.sukeymolloy.com.

Enjoy!

sunnysmall

These Are My Eyes
Copyright Sukey Molloy 2005

These are my eyes,
This is my nose,
This is my mouth,
Round my ears it goes.

These are my arms and fingers,
These are my legs and toes,
This is my tummy,
And round and round it goes!

 

Twinkle Twinkle

I love to look up at the stars in the nighttime sky. Don’t you? I love the special feeling of awe and wonder that comes when gazing at the little twinkling beams of light.

When I recorded Twinkle Twinkle on my I Like to Sing album, I discovered that the lyrics are from an early 19th-century English poem by Jane Taylor called, “The Star”. It was originally sung to the tune of a French melody called, “Ah! Vous dirai-je, maman”, and was published in 1761. The song was later arranged by several composers, including Wolfgang Mozart. In my Sukey’s Circle! videos (Vols. 2 & 3) I dance with my Sunshine Family friend, ‘Twinkle Little Star’, who I created in felt to share with children and audiences in concert.

I hope you and your children will download and color my new Twinkle Twinkle coloring page! Just click here to download, or click on the image below. You can also download the Twinkle Twinkle song on iTunes (on my I Like to Sing CD), and order my Sukey’s Circle! videos on Amazon, and at www.sukeymolloy.com.

twinkletwinkle

I hope you make a special wish with your children tonight under the nighttime sky.

Enjoy!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Traditional

Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtain peep,
Do you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle twinkle little star,

Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.

Where Does the River Go?

Where Does the River Go? is one of the very first felt animations I created, and the longer version can be seen on my Sukey’s Circle! Volume 2 DVD. The video is set to a song I wrote while sitting next to a stream in Vermont with my son. As the water gently rushed by, carrying fish, twigs and leaves along with it, I couldn’t help but wonder where all the water was going? And as I looked up at the sky, with birds and clouds flying and floating by, I had the impression that the water and birds and clouds and fish were all ‘on their way home’.

For the felt animation, as with the song, I wanted to re-create the feeling of gentleness and safety and wonder that came to me while sitting by the stream. And I wanted to convey that quality of reassurance and peacefulness with the children and families who would later on listen, and watch.

I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope you’ll share my new coloring page (below) with your children at home! Click here to download, or click on the image below.

riversm

You can also download Where Does the River Go? (from my I Like to Sing album) on iTunes, and you can purchase all my Sukey’s Circle! videos on amazon.com and at www.sukeymolloy.com.

 

Where Does the River Go? Copyright 2007

Where does the river go, winding, winding,
Where does the river go, winding so?

Where do the birds go, flying, flying,
Where do the birds go, flying so?

The birds go flying, the river goes winding,
Winding and flying, all the way home.

Where do the clouds go, floating, floating,
Where do the clouds go, floating so?

Where do the leaves go, turning, turning,
Where do the leaves go, turning so?

Where do the fish go, swimming, swimming,
Where do the fish go, swimming so?

The fish go swimming, the leaves go turning,
Turning and swimming, on their way home.

The birds go flying, the river goes winding,
Winding and flying, all the way home.

Where do the stars go, twinkling, twinkling,
Where do the stars go, twinkling so?

The stars go twinkling, the clouds go floating,
The leaves go turning, all the way home.

The fish go swimming, the birds go flying,
The river goes winding, all the way home,
All the way home.

I Sit on My Chair

As a developmental movement educator I study many forms of movement, and in particular am interested in exploring gestures and postures. Did you know that the movement vocabulary we acquire by age 10 is the one we will take through life? Children need to explore many different ways of moving in order to build a rich vocabulary in the developing years. In my Sukey’s Circle! DVD series, I use I Sit on My Chair to invite children to explore different ways of moving and sitting on a chair. I recommend they ask an adult to accompany them while they play with the different movement postures, and I invite you to move along with them! It’s a fun activity to try together as a family. You can purchase I Sit on My Chair, along with my other Sukey’s Circle! videos (Volumes 1, 2 & 3) on Amazon, and on my website. You can also download my new ‘Coloring Page of the Month’ by clicking on the image below. Sunny and Tick Tock love sitting on their chairs!

smchair