The Mother Goose on the Loose Blog

Patterns and Nursery Rhymes

Yale University has been doing interesting research on babies’ memories. They’ve found that babies’ brains use “general patterns to help them understand and predict the surrounding environment.” This includes patterns of sounds that make up the words in a language. Nursery rhymes are full of sound patterns. Perhaps that is why they are such a powerful learning vehicle for our youngest children….

The MGOL app


My daughter, Maya, is currently living in Chile and she is doing a lot of work for Mother Goose on the Loose. She has been contacting librarians who are doing virtual MGOL sessions, asking them for permission to post their programs and activities, and then categorizing the activities by topic (rhymes with bells, knee bounces, lullabies, etc.) and putting them into playlists on the MGOL YouTube Channel.

Today, she ran across this page from the Brooklyn Public Library about the MGOL app. It’s been awhile since I’ve thought about it, so I’d like to share the link:

MGOL during COVID-19


Once again, children’s librarians have used their wonderful creative abilities to serve children and families, even amidst this health crisis. Since families cannot come to the library for MGOL programs, the librarians are bringing the programs to them!

For these uncertain times, I have created a new page on my website: MGOL at Home. There, you can link to many of the MGOL programs taking place online for children around the country. You can also see first hand how MGOL can be easily modified to fit the talents and interests of the facilitator. You will recognize the program, but see how widely it can vary!

Here is just one of many MGOL programs at home, done by Tara at the Cedar Rapids Public Library in Iowa.



Everyone should sing to their children, no matter how well they sing. To a child, the parent’s voice is the most beautiful sound of all. 

This is something I say in all of my workshops.  Today I was rereading some Barbara Cass-Beggs material, and I found this quote in her book, To Listen, To Like, To Learn.

Today, because we hear so much good singing on records and on the radio, we are much more conscious of how beautiful a trained voice can sound, and therefore much more conscious of our own vocal short-comings. However, cheer up, for children do not expect a professionally trained voice, and quite often this feeling that you cannot hold a tune or cannot make your voice carry lies in your own mind. Sing, and the children will enjoy you, and the more you sing the better you will sing.” (p. 45)

Barbara’s book was published in 1974, but her words remain true. Even in the world of MP3 players and playlists, there is nothing in the world better to a baby than his or her mother’s voice.