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!




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!



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:



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


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


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

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.


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 and at


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!


If I Were a Tree

As a former modern dancer, I find it fascinating to look at movement in nature. It’s fun to observe animals busy gathering food, and to watch trees as they move in the wind. I created If I Were a Tree as a movement story  to invite children to explore the sounds and motion of a being tree in the wind. When sharing the story with preschoolers, I find they like to move in all different ways, so I created this movement story video, pretending to be a tree blowing in the wind and rain and sun. As you watch, I hope you and your children will move along with me in whatever way you wish! You can purchase If I Were a Tree in audio, video, or together. See info and lyrics below.


If I were a tree,
I would stand tall,
Just like me.

And when it would rain and thrunder,
I would curl my branches,
Right under.

And when the sun would come out,
I would wiggle my leaves,
All about.

And when a gentle breeze would blow,
I would bend my branches down,
Really low.

If I were a tree,
I would stand tall,
Just like me.

If I Were a Tree (song from I Like to Sing album)

If I Were a Tree (video from Sukey’s Circle! Vol. 2 and Vol. 3)

Moments with Siblings

1-1My recollection from my early relationship with my sister is pretty sketchy, but today I am totally fascinated with what I observe in siblings in the PlayMove&Sing classes I teach.

In sharing music, movement and playtime alongside identical twins, fraternal twins, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners, I am reminded how very fragile these relationships are. And there’s such a tender balance between all the feelings that come up.

2-2…Love… curiosity… frustration… affection… aggressiveness… trust… jealousy… protectiveness… respect… competitiveness… interest… fascination… thrill… fear… tolerance… conspiracy… patience… ownership… awe… rivalry… compassion… to name a few!

And it seems amidst all these emotions, that while trying to learn how to hold onto ‘one’s own place’ in the presence of the other, siblings have the potential to either 3grow together, or grow apart.

I’m not sure what this is dependent on – how much of it ‘just happens’, how much of it has to do with parenting, how much is determined by the temperament or nature of each child, or the potential impact of being the first born, the second born, the third born. But I am sure that by taking extra special time to interact with each sibling individually, and also to take time to show them in the presence4 of each other that they are each ‘cherished beings’, we will lessen their need to take from each other what they wish to have for themselves.

And in this, they will be given the opportunity to feel that sharing is like receiving, and also, that when sharing isn’t possible, there’s a respectful way to express the need to hold onto what one feels is ‘one’s own’.

Moments with Grandparents & Grandchildren

IMG_5329At concerts when I perform, and in classes when I teach, I often see young children delightedly accompanied by a cherished grandparent, and I am always touched at how special these relationships are. I’ve also learned that, not only are grandchildren often accompanied by a favorite grandparent at an event, but they are also often receiving significant ‘grandparent childcare’ on a regular basis.

I meet many families where both parents work, and have reached out to their own parents to assist with childcare. And in many classes I teach, the number of children accompanied by a grandparent (as opposed to mother, father or babysitter) may represent up to half of the class. This seems an increasing number, and although I don’t know what the growing trend means, I do see that both grandparents and grandchildren clearly love being together!

IMG_5317Grandmothers do seem to come more often than grandfathers, (although not exclusively), and one grandmother attended my classes with three different grandchildren over a span of several years! She was an incredibly devoted grandparent and helped her daughter complete medical training while having children.

I feel it is a tremendously loving commitment that grandparents express when they give time and care, offering their wisdom, love, and experience – and these are qualities only a grandparent can share. One grandmother in particular attended my classes and concerts for years, and she has become a very dear friend. She continues to teach me many things about the love, patience and guidance a grandparent can bring, and I hope one day to share the same discovery with grandchildren of my own.



Moments with Mother & Daughter


Over the years I have been privileged with many glimpses into mother and daughter relationships, and I continue to be deeply touched. There is an indescribable bond, a mysterious sharing and mutual understanding not easily described. It’s as though mother and daughter have a pre-verbal agreement, a private language all their own – a kind of sensing, a shared intuition, and a mutual acknowledgement. It sometimes seems as though mothers and daughters are one person looking out through two sets of eyes.

In pondering how to honor and support this special mother/daughter relationship, I attempt to give my full and sincere attention IMG_4542to the mystery and unique passage they share together as it unfolds.

In the classes and workshops I teach, I offer gentle, engaging activities to assist in joining mother and daughter together through play, learning, and joyful experiences. I once heard someone say that the best way to help a child is to love that child’s mother. I wholeheartedly agree.