Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow!


At seven years old, I wanted to help people.

I imagined that “helping people” meant becoming a doctor.

Then one day, I heard some kids swearing and yelling at each other on the street.  I asked my mom, “Why do they act that way?” 

Children model the behavior they see around them.

She said, “It’s probably because that’s what they hear at home.  

As she shared how the experiences we have as children shape our character, I realized many people walking around need more than just physical help. They need work on their emotional health, too.

I considered maybe I should become a Psychologist, instead of a doctor.

Then I got the idea: They wouldn’t need to fix up all the broken people, if they would just start them out right in the FIRST place!

To my young mind, being a good mother became the best way to change the world for the better.

My mom had always said things like, As a twig is bent, so grows the TREE! and,The hand that Rocks the cradle, RULES THE WORLD!” I was lucky she was a patient and loving model to follow.

At seven years old, dolls were not enough. I wanted a REAL baby to care for. But how was I to get one?  I was too little to have one myself.

Gazing up at the sky that night, a shooting star raced across the sky. This was my big chance! I closed my eyes and wished for a baby brother.

A few months later, I noticed my mother’s tummy looking a little bigger, so I asked her, “Mom, are you getting fat?”

And she said, sadly, “No – I’m afraid I might be pregnant”.

“YAY!” I shouted, “A baby!”

But she didn’t smile, and added, “Well… Your father isn’t very happy about it. He wants me to get an abortion.”

“What’s that?” I asked. 

“That’s where they take the baby out.”  

Horrified, I cried, “NO, Momma, NO! Don’t DO that! I’ll help you take care of the baby! I’ll change diapers – I’ll wake up in the middle of the night –  ANYTHING – Just don’t take the baby away!

After a few minutes of me pleading, she finally assured me that she wouldn’t get rid of the baby. She told me that though she wanted to please my Poppa, it was illegal, [back in 1956] and she didn’t want to do anything against the law.

Then, on the verge of tears, she blurted out, that my father hadn’t wanted me, or my sister, EITHER – because  the hospital bill would be $350 – and that was a lot of money back then.

Wait a minute…


Those words fell like a knife deep into my heart. It was a terrible thing to tell a child, but my mom must have been in great distress to say it. 

I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want me. But when I first came into the world, all I had to offer, was love.

My father never actually acted as though he’d wished we hadn’t been born – but the thought of it sent my world reeling. 

I adored my father – and when he’d hug me, it felt like heaven in his arms.

But from that moment on, I resolved to never need anything from him, or to be a burden to anyone. After all, I reasoned… people could kill you if they didn’t want you around, so I’d better be useful.  I became the ‘always ready to help’, kind of kid, figuring if I was indispensable, they wouldn’t want to get rid of me.

And even after I grew up, if Poppa would ask if I needed anything, I would thank him – but politely refuse, because deep down inside, I still felt I would be a burden if I accepted. 

My twig had been bent.

When my little brother was born, I kept my promise and did all I could to help my mother – by feeding, cleaning and watching him – even when I was tired, or wanted to do something else.

I’d tell myself, “Real mothers have to do this kind of stuff, so I’d better get used to it.” 

I determined to make it my job to teach him everything I knew, though I was only 8 years old. And that little boy soaked it up!  He became SUPER SMART! He was always inventing things and grew up to become an engineer – like my dad.

PLUS – my brother became closer to my father than ANY of the other kids in the family. My dad grew up, too, and finally realized his kids were some of the best things that ever happened to him.

And ME? I went on to be an artist, like my mom. And a mother – of seven children. After all, I’d had lots of practice already!

It was a long road to where I could finally ask for help from others, though.

It was when my kids came along that I learned how precious I was as a baby – and worth all the work.

Seeing how much I loved them made me realize I was worth loving.

I learned that there is always help available if you need it.

All you have to do is SEEK, ASK, and KNOCK

The answers are there when you need them.

The present is the only way to the future.

And what a GIFT it IS.

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

By the way. . .

Make sure you take advantage of all the free resources I have available on GoMommyGO®:

2 – FREE Illustrated Behavior charts on GoMommyGO (the 8 1/2 X 11 charts you download, customize and print up yourself)

2 – When you click on any image on THIS PAGE it takes you to what the images mean.


4 – What to do when you need to give CONSEQUENSES for bad behavior.

The charts above are FREE, but if you’d like to support my work please feel free to make a donation. If you do, you can download 100 BEHAVIOR CARDS that help you get Organized!  I wish I’d had these cards when MY kids were little! I didn’t have a printer back then, and had to draw each one by hand.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help, providing materials for parents and teachers who can’t afford them.

Please donate!

Posted in abortion, behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children, Ethics and Character, guilt, moms and babies, overcoming obstacles, parenting, Psychology, stress, victims | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on CAN A KID CHANGE THE WORLD? You BETCHA!

Art and Music Can Help Kids with Special Needs!

Children with special educational needs (SEN) require a different approach to learning to help them cope with the tasks of everyday life.  Targeted therapies can help them to learn basic skills such as thought processing, organization, memory, and paying attention.


Music and art have several perceived benefits to children. They are sources of entertainment and can lengthen a child’s attention span, help them concentrate, teach them to focus, and improve communication abilities.

By drawing, a child can express his/her feelings and emotions. Where it is not possible for speech to take place, art and music can act as a substitute for words in order to make a point or statement.

Music and art are not only useful as recreation, but also as a means to enhance learning among children with special educational needs. Autism, for instance, is a developmental disability whose symptoms include various degrees of language and communication delays and difficulties in socializing.

Statistics indicate that 1 out of 110 American kids is affected with autism and the rate is increasing at 10-17% per year. Autistic children basically live in their own world and struggle with daily life.

Music therapy, listening to and learning to play instruments and singing, helps them to build self-confidence. Drawing, painting or sketching, also enhances motor skills and coordination. These things all lead to improved social contacts. 

Practical Activities to Expose SEN Children to Music and Art

To make use of art and music therapy for kids with special needs, here are some suggestions for activities:

Musical Themed Parties

Musical themed parties are great at encouraging children to learn something new. Sharing fun music prompts children to move and sing, making use of their vocal chords and physical rhythms. If you can, hire professional entertainers who have experience with SEN kids.

Musical Events

Going to concerts, live events and festivals, is another way to introduce music to kids with special educational needs. They will learn about the variety of music that is available and benefit from its therapeutic effects. Author of ‘Musicophilia’ Oliver Sacks, M.D., believes in the power of music and its healing effects on the brain. He documented the positive effects of music in Parkinson’s patients and autistic children.

Art Galleries and Museums

Visiting museums also helps handicapped children in many ways. Works of art encourage visual perception. Exposure to various styles, colors, subjects, is educational to everyone, handicapped or otherwise. Talk to your children, ask them what they like. Tell them to draw what they have just seen. 

Art and Music Workshops

Organize, or sign up for, art, music or dance lessons. Dancing is a great option for kids with autism or sensory perception disorder. Expressing themselves through dancing not only creates movement but also body awareness. Social interaction is also enhanced, giving them self-confidence. Whether it is through creating music, moving in a dance, or making art, these activities are all forms of creative expression. Be sure to look for programs and classes  that have experienced special-needs instructors.

When visiting museums or other studios, make sure to plan visits in advance, note the layout of the place and take advantage of resources such as maps, narrative guides, tours and the like. Remember, every child is unique, so you might consider headphones for those who have anxiety or who require quiet spaces. 

Posted in Art, autism, kids with special needs, Music, School | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Art and Music Can Help Kids with Special Needs!

The Appalling Effects of BULLYING – at WORK!

by Jenny Holt

The Emotional and Physical Impact of Workplace Bullying

Did you know a higher percentage of people are bullied in the workplace than in schools? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? When we think about bullying, we always think of the picked on kid in school. Our culture is geared toward it and to trying to deal with it. Yet while 20% of schoolchildren are subject to bullying, according to the CDC, this number rises to 25% in the workplace.

There is no guarantee that the school bullies and bullied go on to resume these roles within the workplace. However, one thing which is consistent is the impact bullying has on both mental wellbeing and physical health.

It can create feelings akin to PTSD, including anxiety, depression, more reserved and conserved behavior, and also increases the risk of heart attacks, health problems, and increases the risk of suicide.

Workers, managers, and owners should all be aware of the consequences of bullying from a wide range of viewpoints. This runs from the health and wellbeing of individuals to its detriment on the team and company performance as a whole. This expert guide from Why Team Building will give you more information on all aspects of workplace bullying and its impact.

Note from Ruth Elliott, Founder of EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO®:

A BIG thank you to Jenny Holt for contributing this important article.

Bullying is such a crucial subject for all of us, that I created 3 Anti-Bullying posters for kids you can download for FREE, here!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on The Appalling Effects of BULLYING – at WORK!

Kids Need Your HELP!


GoMommyGO® has been creating media for kid’s character development since 2003!

Kids are WORTH it. They need to know they have a future and a hope!

We are scraping bottom to do all we can, but our non profit needs YOU!

Will you help us meet the expense of reprinting our books?

I have something for you when you do. Keep reading!

Gosh – If each one of our subscribers gave just one dollar, we would have enough to reprint our most-requested books: See What You’re Looking At, The Richest Kid In The Poor HouseThe Night PrincessLittle Blossom and Somebody Needs You, for the coming year!
All five of our books are out-of-print, frequently sought after, and costly to reproduce. 
When we do sell our books, it is at just-above-cost.  We usually donate one set of books to the library of every school we visit, and have done such a good job of giving, we are now out of them.
WHATEVER you can spare – ANY amount – will help. $5, 10, 20,_?

I have a special BONUS for you if you can contribute.

We recently earned the ‘Top Non-Profit’s Award’ from Great Non Profits and one person commented:
“Art – and the arts – can have such powerful benefits to children. Many go through school with limited access to art…Edu Designs provides these opportunities… I am so grateful that they do…”

Schools, teachers, parents and students need inspiration and enthusiasm for learning.  And kids need tools to succeed.

We offer just that. But doing so is expensive.

Please  click the button below to donate:

With your donation, I have a special gift for your kids.

After you’ve completed your donation of any amount, don’t close the window right away – WAIT a second or two – until it redirects back to EDU DESIGNS. You’ll be able to download 100+ GoMommyGO® Activity Cards to save and print! (Read how to use them, here)
Since nearly one hundred percent of our funding comes from the generosity of of the community, it is no exaggeration to say that your support is truly making a difference in the lives of people across the world.
Thank you in advance for whatever you can do.


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder, Director EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
CreatorGoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS



EDU DESIGNS is a CA Non Profit 501(c)(3) Corporation. Fed. Tax ID # 261576531   GoMommyGO® is a Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
EDU DESIGNS_IRS_Letter of Determination

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Kids Need Your HELP!

Help your Child ORGANIZE! (Help YOU, too!)


with my NEW Activity cards*!



1- Tape a strip of stiff paper (or cardboard) across poster board to make a pocket to hold activity cards.

Top row is for things to DO.

Bottom row is where to put activity cards when they are DONE.

Kids (and YOU) can keep track of what they need to do next! 

You can choose the order of activities, behaviors or chores from over 100 Activity Cards.  For instance:


How to get Activity cards:

Get a download of all 11 pages that include 100+ activity cards with any donation to EDU DESIGNS, using the button below. Just  print up the activity cards yourself on 8.5×11 card stock or business card stock!

(The images below shows how the cards are arranged 10 to a page,  to print up and cut out yourself.)

After you donate – WAIT! Keep the window open and you will automatically be directed to a new page that includes all 11 pages of activity cards and instructions to print them. When the file appears, right click, or select download to save it to your computer.

Email me if you have any questions!

Here’s to getting organized!



Founder and Director of EDU DESIGNS, Creator of GoMommyGO® <>


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Help your Child ORGANIZE! (Help YOU, too!)




Before you know it, those teachable moments will be gone. 


Change the life of a child you know – before it’s too late.


Do you let your kids watch TV or play video games for hours and hours on end? Of COURSE NOT! I know you’re not the type who wants that for your child! We’ve all been there once or twice perhaps, then after an occasional slip of too much TV we face the consequences – the bleary eyes, the irritability, the not being able (or wanting) to pay attention to any worthwhile activity (including parents), the lethargy, bad dreams at night, etc.

Not worth it. And then the effort of trying to get back on track again with new rules: “This is IT, kids: ONLY ONE HOUR A DAY – and only AFTER homework and chores!” Then hearing the whining, moaning and crying that you are being mean and cruel, etc.

You know how it goes…

But there’s something ELSE you can do now:

Get them Ruth Elliott’s Art book to keep them busy INSTEAD! 


Emmy Award winning author and illustrator Ruth Elliott has packed over 30 years of experience in drawing into one amazing book. What makes this art textbook unique? She has distilled what she knows into simple language that anyone can understand in step by step lessons that build on each previous one, to discover a new skill in ‘seeing’ what you’re looking at. Including tips on everything from how to hold your pencil to how animation works, plus a bonus section with art games.

This is the book that finally reveals the secrets of how children (and adults) can learn to draw!  

(Click here for a sneak peek at a few samples from the book)

Why is it some people can actually CREATE a picture that LOOKS REAL? Simple hand coordination is not enough. You need to learn the secrets of ‘SEEING’ what you are looking at! The secrets of drawing perception are simple: The secret is in being able to figure out what you are SEEING – and then you will be able to DRAW what you see. 

booknews wkbkcover_tiny-shad

The expanded and updated FOURTH EDITION includes BONUS CONTENT from our Drawing WORKBOOK (a $9.99 value)incorporated into the new edition – PLUS additional information on Writing and Storyboarding your own stories!

Like getting 2 books for the price of one!

It’s a 39.95 value (but wait till you see the price below).

Ruth takes you step by step through each phase of perception, so there’s no guesswork. When you follow the steps in each chapter exactly as she says in the book you are assured to expand your ability to see what you’re looking at.
In fact, that’s the name of the book – 


The mother of seven children, Ruth Elliott’s dream has always been to help kids.  She was sad to see children denied the guidance and education that could increase their learning ability and lead to greater success in life. This increased her determination to provide TOOLS they NEED TO SUCCEED. That’s what this book is all about! You can LEARN how to SEE! You can learn how to THINK about WHAT you are LOOKING AT! You can learn to “SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!”

I’m sure you don’t want your kids to be abandoned to the TV, right?

What can you do?



And Drawing.

And CARING about the world around them.

It has been proven that the arts improve brain development!

When she heard that children involved in the arts improved their math scores by up to 15%, Ruth worked relentlessly, taking years perfecting the system that could lift awareness and improve manual dexterity – teaching the brain and hand to work together.

At the same time the essential character values of compassion and persistence are imparted through the book with anecdotes from the true story of Roscoe the squirrel she rescued as a baby.


Never miss an opportunity to do a good deed!

Unfortunately THE PRINTED BOOK is now SOLD OUT – 

But for a LIMITED TIME ONLY, until our next printing, you can still get a free download of Ruth’s Art Book with any donation. Of any amount.

Press the button below to donate:

After payment you will be automatically redirected to download the file you may view and print from your own computer. You can print it as many times as you need (for personal educational purposes only of course).

(A $9.99 Value)


Please donate what you can.

Every little bit helps.

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!


Before I ever had kids, I thought I knew all about child rearing. After they started coming along, however, all pride went out the window and humility took it’s place.

It’s been almost half a century since my first darling baby (of seven) was born. Along the way there were seven thousand challenges to learn from, and approximately 36,000 diapers to change.

I read so many books that claimed to have the answer to ‘this’ problem or ‘that’ problem, but only addressed a certain type of child with a particular temperament. I would think to myself, “Well, that might work in their situation, but MY kid is different!”

It was the actual experience of raising my seven kids that gave me a broader insight into what works and what doesn’t work.

Each time I found another solution to a new dilemma, I’d think, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this in the first place? Somebody should be sharing it with other parents so they won’t have to make the same mistakes I did!”

Well, finally someone did come along after my kids grew up: ME!

I am now compiling all my wisdom and practical tips from decades of hands-on experience in real life parenting into a book to share with you.

But I want to make sure it addresses your problems.

I know there are struggles you deal with that are specific to you, so I’ve created a short survey to help me target those areas that are most needed.

Will you share the things YOU struggle with?

It should only take a minute or two to complete.

I want my book to address YOUR issues.

Will you fill out my short survey?

If you do, you will be the first to get an advance review copy of my new book as soon as it’s ready. It will be yours for free.

I need your input, to make sure I include your concerns.

Please fill out my survey!

Here is the link:


Thank you for your attention and your time.


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Director of EDU DESIGNS; Creator of GoMommyGO®
Since 2007 EDU DESIGNS has been creating media for children’s character development. GoMommyGO® is the registered trademark of EDU DESIGNS.
Read More about EDU DESIGNS…

Thank you for your help.  Because of outstanding reviews we were awarded the ‘Great Non Profit’s’ Badge for 2016!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on SHARE YOUR STRUGGLES!

SEE What You’re LOOKING At!


EDU DESIGNS earned the TOP-RATED Great Non Profit’s Seal!

Thousands of children, their parents and teachers benefit by what we do each year. Read what they share about our work here.

In addition to our free resources on GoMommyGO®, we donate materials to schools and teachers, including Ruth Elliott’s groundbreaking Art Book, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT.

 See What You're Looking At! © Ruth Elliott

EDU DESIGNS brings the arts to children!

You can help too, by sharing my book with them. For a limited time only, you can get a free download of my 120 page Art book for kids, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!

Just fill out the form below!

Thank you so much. 

I appreciate you!





Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder, Director of EDU DESIGNS; Creator of GoMommyGO®

Your Email Address:
    First Name:
Enter the security code shown:

Email marketing by MyEmailProgram


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on SEE What You’re LOOKING At!

Roscoe the Squirrel


When my son was little and first saw this, he said,”Mom, did this used to be YOU?”

Way back in B.C. (Before Children) I raised a baby squirrel. Here’s a photo of me and Roscoe, when he was around four months old. 

Because he had fallen out of a tree as a newborn, he was afraid to climb trees at first. It inspired me to write this song:


Roscoe’s Song, © Ruth Elliott, 1974


Oh Little Darlin’ don’t worry about the trees,

Just keep on climbin’ as far as you can see,

Past life’s pinecones of plenty, life’s needles of pain,

Oh little darlin’ don’t worry ‘bout the next branch.

Too soon shall it come by the way.

By the way, don’t worry little darlin’,

Little darlin’ don’t worry ‘bout the way.


We’ve shared life’s journey so far,

Don’t turn your tail and run,

at the first shadow of a bird passing overhead,

Just keep travlin’ on,

So high, so very high above,

So high, above the trees.

(Repeat first verse)tinyroscoe3x4vert

I tell the whole story in my Art Book for Kids,
“SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!” (the first Art textbook to reference the CA Math standards!) 


Find out how you can get a free download of my art book at this link:


Keep Climbing!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder and Director of EDU DESIGNS



Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Roscoe the Squirrel

GET While You GIVE!

Monkey See - Monkey DO!

From my article: Monkey See – Monkey DO!

GET MY Art Textbook for kids FREE!

Does media influence children?
You know it does. 

From the time I was a child I have wanted to inspire kids to become BETTER people.

Since 2007 EDU DESIGNS has been “Building Brains And Hearts Through The Arts” by sharing positive educational materials with schools, teachers and students.    

All of us here at EDU DESIGNS are unpaid volunteers, giving what we can out of love. And our own pockets. 

Even if you are strapped for cash these days, I figured out THREE WAYS you can help us to help kids without donating a penny! 

Would you like to know how? 

YAY! I KNEW you would!

HERE are three ways to help:

1– WATCH “Somebody NEEDS You” – our 3 minute animated short that premiered at San Diego Comic-Con…and – read how we did it!


Click on the picture to open in YouTube


2LEAVE A REVIEW of the work we are doing, here.

Even just a few words from you, like: “Great Job!” or, “Keep up the good work!”,  give others a chance to hear about the work we do.

We are so happy we earn the Great Non Profit’s 2016 Top-Rated badge!

(Click on the picture below to leave your review. No need to create an account or login, just click “Post Review” when you are done.) 


3– If you buy things on Amazon, SHOP from this link,:

Amazon Smile (their charity) will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to EDU DESIGNS when you do! Bookmark (save) the link to shop from it each time, and you will give while you get, automatically! YAY!

 heart3-anim-best-2inx72dpi.gif️ To THANK YOU for caring,

Please accept a copy of my Art Book for kids! 


(Click on the picture below to get it)

❤Share it with those you love.
Donate it to your local school.

🌷Watch people thank you!

Kids need good examples to follow.

That’s something you can give free, too!

Warmest wishes,


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Director of EDU DESIGNS; Creator of GoMommyGO®

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on GET While You GIVE!


Sun After Rain In NY, by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 1968

Sun After Rain In NY, by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 1968

They hit you sooner or later…

No way around it. Troubles hit you. Some financial. Some personal.

Like Rudyard Kipling said, how do you hold on when all about you are losing their heads and blaming it on you? Even more, how do you keep trials and troubles from your door? The answer is: You can’t.

If Character is defined as “what you are when no one is watching”, then there has to be that space within to return to that is untouched by the storms of life. The eye of the hurricane, the apex of the pendulum that remains steady while the weight is swinging below it – that place we can hold on to – and align our perspective to. Keep that as an anchor and don’t let go! You can make it. Take the time to find it if you haven’t already. You’ll need it.

I heard a great man once say,

“There are two paths before us: The GOOD and the PLEASANT. He who chooses the PLEASANT misses the mark.”

Please join me on the better road!



Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon


Investing in Children makes a better world.

Edu Designs is making a difference.

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on CHARACTER is PREPARATION for the STORMS of LIFE!

Your Child NEEDS ‘Somebody NEEDS You’



My animated short is now a CHILDREN’S BOOK!

SNY-cover-amazonSOMEBODY NEEDS YOU has a powerful message that shows kids the character traits of caring and empathy for others!

Kids need to learn to be helpful. 

Don’t wait.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

Help them learn to pay attention.


You’ll be glad you did. 

Your children will praise you. 

Your grandchildren will THANK YOU.

Kids will read the book and learn EMPATHY.

World PEACE will get a little closer.

And LOVE will blossom.

Thank you.




PS –  HERE’S where to get my book!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Your Child NEEDS ‘Somebody NEEDS You’


how_to_get_doneIS ‘GOOD ENOUGH’, GOOD ENOUGH?

MY mom always told me, “A job worth doing, is worth doing WELL!”  

So I tried to be perfect!

But when my kids were little, I could never get everything donewell’ at the same time. 
To get the house clean, I’d have to ignore the kids.

When I paid attention to the kids, I would neglect the house.

And when my husband needed attention, everything else stopped.

I became a multi-task juggler and still couldn’t get it all done.

I practiced working faster and faster. My motto became:

“A job worth doing, is worth getting OVER WITH!


I asked myself, “Does EVERYONE go through this?”


When I asked other moms the question, “Do you struggle to get everything DONE?” the answer was always, “YES!”

The realization?

Everyone struggles, and NO ONE DOES IT PERFECTLY!

Got-it-all-done-color-DK-webWHEW! I WASN’T ALONE! But I still worried:


If you are doing the BEST you can DO, that’s ALL YOU CAN DO! 

How can you do MORE than the BEST you can do? If you ARE doing your best, then what more can you expect of yourself?



I like what Peter Marshall said:

“Small deeds DONE are better than great deeds PLANNED” 

Yes, you’ll make mistakes. LEARN and GROW from them.

dustpan-shattered pieces-smSomeone said, “Experience is what you get just after you needed it!”

Older people are revered for their wisdom and experience in almost every culture in the world – Why? Because they’ve made more mistakes than we have! And they are ready to tell you what they learned from it.

I love what John Jolliffe said, “You can’t fault yourself for the wisdom you didn’t have at the time.” 

He also said, “The way you feel about yourself is both your punishment and your reward. YOUR job is to become the kind of person YOU can love.”

SO. . .  LOVE yourself, FORGIVE yourself, pick up the shattered pieces of your life and GO ON!

Remember to be compassionate with your spouse, too. Whatever their faults, there was something wonderful you saw in them from the beginning. They deserve the same chance to grow that you give your children or yourself!


I love this song my husband wrote over 30 years ago, that says it so well! 

Enjoy it here: SHE LOVES ME IN HER OWN WAY, by Jas Hilsdon

Love to you and yours,


By the way, my story, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU is now a BOOK! You can get it on AMAZON here!  Based on the animated short with voices by June Foray and animated by a girl on the spectrum, the story teaches the value of helpfulness and compassion to those around you.

Make sure to get a copy to help a child you know!



Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on WHEN IS ‘GOOD ENOUGH’, GOOD ENOUGH?


See What You're Looking At! © Ruth Elliott

See What You’re Looking At! © Ruth Elliott


We are so thankful to everyone who helped us win the 2016 Great Non Profit’s Seal! Read what people are saying about our work here.

Thousands of children and their parents benefit by what we do each year.

In addition to our free resources on GoMommyGO®, we donate materials to schools and teachers, including my groundbreaking Art Book, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT

EDU DESIGNS needs your help to bring the arts to children!

You can help by sharing my book with them!

Get a free download of my Art Book for kids by filling out the form below.

I thank you so much for helping. 

I appreciate you!







Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Director of EDU DESIGNS; Creator of GoMommyGO®

Your Email Address:
    First Name:
Enter the security code shown:

Email marketing by MyEmailProgram


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on HELP EDU DESIGNS SHARE MY ART BOOK!

Helping your child CLEAN THEIR ROOM!

Thanks to Mindi for suggesting I add a picture of “clean your room”, to GoMommyGO’s free illustrated behavior charts.
The simple command, “Clean Your Room” might be enough for some kids, but not for mine)!
Many get overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the task and need it broken up into smaller pieces, so they get a chance to learn a method of tackling the job and also feel a sense of accomplishment from each part. This can become part of their regular routine each day.


With my 7 kid’s, their room could quickly become a giant pile of rubble. I thought of the CTT method here, to help them clean the room in 15 minutes. 
Here is how it works:

C– stands for Clothes

T– stands for Toys
T– stands for Trash

C First pick up all CLOTHES you find – quickly – in less than 5 minutes!

T– Then pick up all TOYS (and put in toybox) – in less than 5 minutes!

T– Then pick up all the TRASH left – in less than 5 minutes!


ACT LIKE IT’S A GAME! Let them know that you will assist in directing the process, and TIME them doing it. Since this is a bigger job than mere stickers will reward, Let them know this will be a fun event that will have a bigger reward (like going out for an ice cream cone or a trip to the 99Cent store to pick out a treat for themselves afterwards). If you cannot go out, then perhaps offer a special dessert or treat you know they love as a reward. To get the child started out picking up the clothes:

(#1) YOU START the game, and show them how to toss the first couple of clothes into a pile as fast as possible! Once you’ve shown them, then let THEM do it.

Do the same with the Toys (#2) and Trash(#3).

This is a quick way to get the bulk of the work done and conquer the hardest part. The details will be easier after that!

I heard another GREAT idea invented by a lady whose son was autistic.
She helped him organize his room till it was just the way she liked it, then took a snapshot of the whole thing.
She printed up the photo, had it framed, and put it on the dresser. 
It was used as a model to follow how his room should look the next time he had to clean it!
Her son actually got so detailed in following the photo, that when his little action figure of a scuba diver was shown in the picture with one flipper on and one off, he always made sure he took one off, to match the photo!
I think this is brilliant, and one I wish I had thought of! 
Hope this helps!
Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Helping your child CLEAN THEIR ROOM!

Suicide Warning Signs

Suicide is the third largest cause of death among teens.

Suicide is the third largest cause of death among teens.

10 Suicide Warning Signs in Young People

“Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12,” according to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, or American SPCC. This is just one of the many alarming statistics about young people and suicide. Although it can be hard to tell when someone is contemplating suicide, there are signs you may recognize if you know to look for them. Listed below are 10 possible suicide warning signs. It is worth noting that some of these signs are similar to the signs of depression. Depression and suicide are closely tied, so these are very important to be aware of.

Signs to Look Out For

  1. The individual is talking about wanting to hurt or kill themselves. Talk of suicide must always be taken seriously. You may even notice the person writing these thoughts in notes or a journal. If you or someone else are thinking or talking about suicide, call 911 immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline may also be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  2. The person is expressing hopelessness about the future. When someone expresses hopelessness there is definitely something going on, and this must never be taken lightly.
  3. The individual begins giving away treasured possessions to family or friends. These are items the person would never give away under ordinary circumstances. This may mean that the person wants the belongings to go to loved ones because they have no intention of being around much longer.
  4. There is change in eating habits. The individual may eat little or not at all, or conversely, overeat. When a significant change like this occurs, further investigation is always advised.
  5. The individual is sleeping too much or too little. Often a person contemplating suicide either can’t turn off their brain to sleep, or are so lacking in motivation for life that they sleep all the time.
  6. The person seems to be losing interest in their favorite activities. Often, a person considering suicide will not have the motivation to go to place or partake in things they loved in the past.
  7. The individual begins withdrawing or feeling isolated. People suffering from severe depression with suicidal thoughts will withdraw from everything, mostly relationships and interaction. They choose to be alone rather than participate in any activities or spend time with the people they love most. 
  8. There is an unusual neglect of personal appearance. The individual may stop taking care of their outward appearance due to a complete disregard for personal care. Or there may also be extreme alterations to their “normal” appearance.
  9. The person is experiencing changes in personality. They can go through many extreme emotional and mood changes involving sadness, withdrawal, irritability, anxiety, exhaustion, and indecision. These are classic signs for both depression and suicidal feelings.
  10. The individual may be “acting reckless or engaging in risky activities – seemingly without thinking.” Some of these reckless or risky activities may include reckless driving, drinking, taking drugs, or having unprotected sex. The person may feel that because they intend to die, it doesn’t matter how unsafe their behavior is.

Addiction and Suicidal Thoughts

Drug use and addiction may lead to suicidal thoughts, and vice versa. There are many ways to learn about or seek help for addiction. Whether you’re a member of the African American,  Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino, LGBTQ, or another of the many communities out there, there is help for you.

Please remember, if you or someone you know is in imminent danger call 911 immediately. Whether in imminent danger or not, you may also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Take action to help yourself or someone you know.

Steve Johnson has always been dedicated to promoting health and wellness in all aspects of life. Studying in the medical field has shown him how important it is for reputable health-related facts, figures, tips, and other guidance to be readily available to the public. He created with a fellow student to act as a resource for people’s overall health inquiries and as an accurate and extensive source of health information. When he isn’t hard at work in his studies, Steve enjoys playing tennis and listening to his vintage record collection.

(Image via Pixabay by Foundry)

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Suicide Warning Signs


“While raising my seven children, creating stories and cartoons was fun for me. Especially since I worked in animation, my dream was always to help children’s character through the arts and media. Retiring after 27 years, I started the non profit Edu Designs to do just that.”~ Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of EDU DESIGNS

Inspiring children since 2007 with art workshops, free books, videos and assemblies, none of us at EDU DESIGNS has gotten paid a dime, but the rewards are “out of this world”!

And our little videos teach BIG lessons that kids ‘get’.

So when the idea for Somebody NEEDS You, came to me, I knew what had to be done: Put together pre-production storyboards, then cast the voices for the show. But who would do the voices? I was thrilled when June Foray was happy to help.


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon and June Foray

At 95 years of age, June Foray (famous as the voice of Rocky and Natasha from ROCKY and BULLWINKLE) volunteered to perform all 4 voices for my story, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU! 

Then I searched for volunteers who would help with backgrounds, character design, animation and final production.

I was so excited to get Fine Arts Major Dominique Ovalle to agree to paint backgrounds, and young animation maverick Nicholas Mastrangelo to work on preliminary animation studies in Flash. Here we are at lunch with June:


Ruth, June, Dominique and Nicholas after pre-production of “Somebody NEEDS You!”


Then along came Dani Bowman, a remarkable individual with Autism, who volunteered to add her considerable expertise in Toon Boom animation. Dani has been creating cartoons since the age of 11! She became the major force of operations as she not only did a lions share of animation, but also put everything together in Final Cut. Friend and animation student Zack Miller contributed his talents as well.


Matt Miller’s alter-ego, from his storehouse of creativity!

In addition, Matt Miller, an animator since the age of 10, who earned his BFA in Animation/New Media, added his amazing character designs to the mix!

Along with these artists, Sandra Vielma and Patrick Eidemiller gave generously of their time for the nuts and bolts of production.

toonboomIt’s one thing to get all these talented people to volunteer, it’s another thing entirely to get a major software company like Toonboom to donate their product to the project. But that’s what happened for us!  

What a work of love. When it was ready, we submitted it to the Annie Awards and premiered it at Comic-Con!


Dani Bowman, June Foray & Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

Before the Annie Awards, Dani and I presented June with a copy of the poster and DVD from the movie showcasing her voiceovers. 

Now YOU can watch what we did and tell us what you think!

Click on the pic to see it on YouTube!

Click on the pic to watch “Somebody NEEDS You” on YouTube!

READ what others have said about our work here. 

If you believe the arts and media influence children, share your thoughts on what EDU DESIGNS is doing to help kids character on ‘Great Non Profit’s

Your reviews earned us the 2016 badge from Great Non Profit’s!  

To thank you for watching, I have a gift for you:

A free download of my digital Art Book, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!  

Enter your email in the form below and you’ll receive a link to download my ART BOOK for children.  (It’s a $9.99 value, but yours free, as a THANK YOU for helping spread the word about what we are doing to build better character in kids.)
We are excited to share our character-building resources with others. 

GIVE your friends and family the link too.


I appreciate you!

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Director of EDU DESIGNS; Creator of GoMommyGO®

PS: Remember to fill out this form below to get my Art book!


Your Email Address:
    First Name:
Enter the security code shown:

Email marketing by MyEmailProgram


Posted in Character Development, Child Development, cognitive development, Ethics and Character, family, kids with special needs, Psychology | Comments Off on “SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU” needs YOU!

Create Peace and Love ALL YEAR ROUND♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

Want Peace?

Loving the people in our lives can bring more peace to our world.  Maybe not the entire world, but at least to those people our lives touch. I’m so grateful for each and every one of you who has reached out to me..

Love and blessings to YOU!

So much to be thankful for! My wonderful husband, Jas and I were recently busy moving into a new apartment. Now that we’re settled in, we are busy creating musical projects and mentoring students.
♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

Jas created a charming video of his mom, who at 95 years old sang “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”! Click on the pic below to see it!Mom-hilsdon-pic

My friend, Satyam Pal, an 3D Animation student in India created this Christmas message in 3D! I am so proud of him and thankful he allowed me to share it here!  Click below to watch:

Our short animated film, “Somebody Needs You” was recently submitted to the 43rd Annual Annie Awards. Though it was not nominated for an award, we are very proud of it. See it here: 


We LOVE giving to others. And we have never gotten or expected a salary for the work we do. But there are many expenses in creating, printing and distributing materials to those who need and cannot afford them. Our budget is very slim, and we need help too.

Will you please come to our rescue and make a tax-deductible-end-of-the-year donation?

To donate ANY amount, please click the ‘donate’ button below:  

Thank you so much,


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Director: EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
Creator: GoMommyGO® the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS

EDU DESIGNS, a Non Profit 501(c)(3) Corporation | 

Fed. Tax ID # 26-1576531 (626) 344-2340  


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Create Peace and Love ALL YEAR ROUND♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

The Night Princess in Mandarin

THE NIGHT PRINCESS is an original fable that encourages us to see that the way we treat anyone, is the way we treat everyone!

With tears streaming down his face, RAY BRADBURY declared,
“It’s BEAUTIFUL!”   VAN DYKE PARKS said:I loved your show, too. Terrific animation to a great tale. The music does justice to it all!”

is as gripping as it is mysterious. What do you think happened to The Night Princess? The ending is up to YOU.

Here are questions for discussion with students:

What do YOU think happened?

Was she still alive?

What did the king do?

Did he learn a lesson?

What lesson did he learn?


SOON to be in book form.  

The Night Princess © Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 2006

Newly updated to Mandarin in 2015

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on The Night Princess in Mandarin



To see our animated short, click on the image above!


Sometimes we may want to do something “big and important” in the world, all the while missing opportunities to help those around us.

The story Somebody Needs You is important for kids – to learn to pay attention to their surroundings, and see that they CAN make a difference, wherever they are. 

You can see it HERE.  And it’s getting rave reviews already!  

 “This should be a character education tool in schools across the country!” ~David McKibbin, writer/singer/actor

 “That was amazing. Totally loved it.” ~Charles Halloran, artist and owner of Halloran Comics

When June Foray, (best known for her work on Rocky and Bullwinkle), originally heard the story I wrote to help children, she recorded all 4 voices as a favor to me.  It’s taken a while to finish, but thanks to Dani Bowman and the generous contributions of our talented volunteers, we MADE IT!

Photo on left: Ruth Elliott and June Foray at the Annie Awards, 2013. On right: the famous Temple Grandin and Dani Bowman at a conference of AutismWorksNow, 2015.

Photo on left: Ruth Elliott and June Foray at the Annie Awards, 2013. On right: the famous Temple Grandin and Dani Bowman at a conference of AutismWorksNow, 2015.








Dani Bowman, the director and chief animator of our project, is a high functioning individual with Autism. She founded DaniMation Entertainment, at the remarkable age of 14! After Dani agreed to work personally with me, I knew I had found a partner. She has been the prime mover in bringing this story to life. 

Matt Miller, animator and character designer, generously volunteered his awesome design talent, just after overcoming his battle with cancer this year.  (Read what his adoptive mom wrote about it, here)

boy and baby

A sample of Matt Miller’s work!









Right: Ruth, June Foray, Dominique Ovalle, and Nicholas Mastrangelo.

Others who helped were: Fine artist Dominique Ovalle, on backgrounds, plus Zack Miller and Nicholas Mastrangelo with additional animation. 


ALSO: Special thanks go to Patrick Eidemiller and Sandra Vielma, who were supportive in more ways than I can list. We couldn’t have done it without them. And thanks to Toon Boom Animation for contributing the software.

And thank you to everyone who encouraged us along the way!

Watch it and share the link!

SNY-dog cropped

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Creator, GoMommyGO®

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help, providing materials for parents and teachers who can’t afford them.  We need YOUR help to do that!


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Watch “SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU!” – NOW!