When Nyack mom Sukey Molloy
started taking her older son to a mommy & me class, she was dismayed by the program she felt did not the space in a way that motivated children. So she set out to develop her own program. As a former professional dancer, her aim was to create classes where kids would find joy in movement. By setting up different gymnastics equipment and observing her son, Molloy began PlayMove&Sing
, which promotes movement and encourages sensory learning.
Molloy has integrated her studies of developmental movement, infant development and infant massage to create a program she now offers in preschools and elementary schools around Rockland County. She has also created a musical group, the Circle Song Band that performs in the tri-state area, mostly for kids under age 6. Molloy doesn’t want kids to sit still during her performances; in smaller settings, she will hand out rattles or scarves and invite children to participate in the music. Molloy’s shows, and the PlayMove&Sing classes, are based on her study of kinesthetics, the experience of movement. She is expanding her business to include puppets, musical instruments and rhythm sticks that kids can use to move while listening to her two CDs, Circle Games and I Like to Sing! The music combines original tunes with traditional songs with altered lyrics to create motor play out of a traditional melody.
Molloy has also taught courses at Rockland Community College demonstrating how the brain is nourished through movement; she also offers staff development workshops for teachers on the subject. She feels using guided play to help toddlers “grow synapses” is particularly critical now, pointing out that babies who are put to sleep on their backs, for safety reasons, “associate comfort with being on their backs, and the developing brain is not getting the opportunity for motor growth.” While babies spend a lot of time in infant and car seats, “we need to balance that out with activities that are appropriate for that developmental age.” Babies need to spend time on their stomachs, learning to use their hands to push up, learning to crawl, she says. In her classes, “toddlers learn to feel good through sensations in their bodies, which prepares them for other learning.”
Molloy says she has been approached repeatedly to produce DVDs — not an easy decision since she prefers that kids don’t watch television. “The action of viewing inhibits, literally inhibits, the growth of synapses in the brain,” she believes. On the other hand, she recognizes that children will watch TV and videos, so if she produces content that encourages movement and interactivity, she is offering a better choice. Molloy notes that though her two teenage boys grew up with very little television, they became “a TV family.” But for every minute they spend watching television or playing an electronic game, the boys spend an equal amount of time shooting baskets or kicking a soccer ball. For more information on Sukey Molloy’s classes and music, go to www.playmovesing.com.
Sukey Molloy, with young friend