Dani Bowman, June Foray and Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 2016


A story that teaches empathy, Somebody NEEDS You is about a girl who is not quite ‘tuned in’ to her surroundings, walking past opportunities to lend a hand, until she gets the insight that turns her around. One mom wrote:

“…I love the beautiful, simple message… Regardless of your age or ability, there is always something you can do to help. This is something I try to instill in my children…I can share this video with them to show them how opportunities can present themselves by just opening their minds and hearts.”

The queen of voiceovers, the legendary June Foray (best known as the voice of Rocky and Natasha from the TV show, Rocky and Bullwinkle) volunteered her voices on four of the characters in the story! It premiered at Comic-Con in 2016.

Sadly, June was ushered into eternity July 26, 2017, at the age of 99.
Somebody NEEDS You became the last animated film she ever worked on.

When I first told June about needing voices for the story I had written, June was happy to lend hers. “I’ll help!”, she said. “Anything for the kids.”  I am so grateful for her generous and loving participation.


June and Ruth January, 2017 (6 months before she passed on).

June with her beloved caregiver, Judy, 2017


June’s dog, Ginger


The last time I visited June in January, 2017, I enjoyed petting her lovely dog, Ginger. Suddenly I was struck by how similar Ginger looked to the dog in Somebody NEEDS You!

How accidentally perfect. And we didn’t even plan it that way!

June’s voice is still reaching kids all over. The BOOK version is helping my granddaughter to learn to read.
And every child who sees the video, or reads the book, wants more!
So we are beginning work on a second episode, now.

Our creative team members, Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Dani Bowman, Matt Miller, Jas Hilsdon, Annie Elliott, D.R. Elliott, Lisa Elliott, Dianne Mower and more, have offered to add their talents as our adventure continues, in the sequel, SOMEBODY NEEDS HONESTY!

Somebody Needs HONESTY tells what happens as the lead character in the story is faced with the question of what she should do after her ‘good deed’ has gone awry. A new lesson is learned, that life can be good after a mistake.

We are excited to bring this story to life, and invite your support.

We need your help, though. Can you lend a hand?

Here are three ways to give…

One is money.



TWO:  Purchase the book version of Somebody NEEDS You from Amazon Smile.(The words inside the book are identical to the video, and help teach kids to read!) June Foray's voices teach empathy in the Video version, too

Amazon Smile will give a donation to our non profit every time you shop for anything you buy on Amazon Smile. Just select EDU DESIGNS as your non profit of choice from this link, FIRST, and then do your shopping. Here’s how:

Three: Give us a 5 star rating on Great Non Profits to share your thoughts on the importance of what we are doing. Read what other folks say about us here…

I appreciate your support! 

Warmest Wishes,




Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder and Director of EDU DESIGNS

PS – I don’t get a salary from my work here, but the rewards are ‘out of this world’! 

Posted in behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on JUNE FORAY’S LAST FILM TEACHES EMPATHY


Annie Elliott at Comic-Con San Diego, 2017

Annie Elliott, San Diego Comic-Con, 2017

Though her CD was titled, ‘Awkward Annie’, this talented artist, singer, copywriter, and volunteer for non profit causes, proves you always get more by giving.

Annie Elliott was recognized as a powerhouse by the organization, She Runs It, who flew her to NY to receive an award for NEXT GENERATION FEMALE LEADER at Forbes, on Sept. 13, 2017. 

Associate Creative Director for RPA Advertising, Annie has been a contributor to EDU DESIGNS media since 2014.  

We deeply appreciate the wealth of knowledge and expertise Annie brings with her about the creative arts, media, and its’ influence on society. 

One of Annie’s previous articles from 2014 highlights a ‘female leader’ from a previous generation: June Foray, who was the Queen of Voiceovers.

Though she passed on at the age of 99, EDU DESIGNS was blessed to have June contribute her voice to our animated short, Somebody Needs You, which premiered at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016. Read more about how June’s contributions are helping kids learn empathy, here. 

At EDU DESIGNS, our team of volunteers researches media and networks with others who care about children’s character so we can bring you the best. 

Annie Elliott, D R Elliott, Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon and Lisa Elliott attended San Diego Comic-Con, 2017

EDU DESIGNS volunteers at San Diego Comic-Con, 2017. (L-R: Annie Elliott, D R Elliott, Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon and Lisa Elliott)

Each year we reach thousands of kids and teachers with our art lessons and media for good character.

We are grateful for everyone who gives to support our work.

There are LOTS of ways you can give, too. See here.


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder, EDU DESIGNS

PS –  Give us a 5 star rating on Great Non Profits to share your thoughts on the importance of character in media!

Read what other folks say here…

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on AWKWARD ANNIE* ADDS TO EDU DESIGNS!


When Hope Seems Lost | Emergency Suicide Help Resources

When feelings of depression make it feel as though you have nowhere to turn, take one more step and you will find a network of support. You can’t do this alone.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800.273.8255)


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a nationwide network of professional services that offer no-cost emotional support to people in crisis 24 hours a day. The lifeline has been in existence since January 1, 2005 and is independently evaluated by a team at the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene at Columbia University. Lifeline organizations receive ongoing guidance and consultation from suicide prevention experts across the globe.

The Badge of Life Police Suicide Prevention Program

Law enforcement officers are in a unique position of helping people every day. However, even the most seasoned officers can bend under the stress. If you are a current or former LEO visit BadgeOfLife.com for more information on resources you can use today to take a step on the path toward recovery.

Ask your Teachers

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in students from late elementary through college age. Teachers, guidance counselors, and school administrative staff are trained to offer compassion and seek help for people considering suicide. These are trusted professionals who understand the pressures of societal expectations and increasing academic pressure.

Veteran Crisis Line (800.273.8255 Press 1)

Former active-duty military men and women may utilize the Veterans Crisis Line, part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This confidential helpline is available around-the-clock 365 days a year. Veterans may also chat online for support by visiting VeteransCrisisLine.net any time. The site also provides special support and consideration for active duty personnel, homeless veterans, and friends and family of current and former military men and women.


Hospitals are a safe place where those in the throes of depression can receive emotional and physical support in times of extreme duress. Most medical complexes offer emergency care for individuals with suicidal thoughts. Emergency rooms are open 24/7 and provide a nonjudgmental environment to receive help and guidance.


Police/Fire stations

If you’re away from home with suicidal thoughts and feel you have nowhere to turn, your local police or fire station can help. Policeman, fireman, EMTs, and paramedics are trained to handle these situations.



Even when you may not believe it is a true emergency, suicidal thoughts should be treated as such. Any time there is the potential for loss of life, 911 is an option. Dispatchers will ask you some questions and send someone to help. Most likely, this will be the police and local paramedics who will transport you discreetly to the nearest local hospital. Rest assured, you will not be forcibly restrained (unless you pose an immediate threat to yourself or others) or treated like a criminal. Local law enforcement’s job is not to put you in handcuffs and lock you away; they are there to save your life and to save your loved ones the pain of your loss.

Safe Place

Safe Place is a youth outreach program that works to provide immediate emergency resources for young people. They are most often found in metropolitan areas at businesses, libraries, bus stations, and youth-oriented sports complexes such as the YMCA. Safe Place’s mission is to ensure an effective response system for in-crisis teens from age 12 through 17. Though often associated with runaway services, designated Safe Place locations offer supportive resources for young people dealing with a variety of issues including abuse, drug overdose, and those with suicidal thoughts.

If you feel as though all hope is lost, any of the above resources can point you in the right direction and assist you with getting the help you need. You are not alone. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; all you have to do is ask.

Thank you, Jennifer Scott, for the informative article!


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on EMERGENCY SUICIDE HELP RESOURCES




Click to DOWNLOAD The PRINTABLE Version. 




Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.

Please donate!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on 7 SUPER STRATEGIES to SUCCEED IN SCHOOL!


Joke by Lisa Elliott

Being a parent is humbling. Anything you thought you knew about parenting before you had kids, soon vanishes as you find out how little you really knew.  It’s a miracle any of us survive!

Making mistakes is inevitable. Luckily, you can learn from them. However, the best way is to learn from someone else’s mistakes! That way, you don’t have to make them all yourself! 

Here are 5 to avoid:

Mistake # 1 – Not Paying Enough Attention: 

When you drive, you pay attention to the road, correct? But at home, you may want more time to yourself, and rely on TV and video games to ‘babysit’ them. When you fail to pay proper attention to your children you not only endanger them, you are saying, without words, that they are not worth paying attention to. 

SOLUTION: Engage with your kids more to increase attachment and connectedness. Think, E.T.C. for 3 keys to good communication: 
YE Contact,
ouch, and
ommunication (which includes Talking and Listening).   Remember to enjoy your kids. This period of their lives, and yours, will never come again.
Read more here… 

Mistake # 2 – Being too strict, or too lenient:

Either extreme is bad. Being too harsh can break your child’s spirit.

Being too ‘nice’ is not really being nice, and in the long run, teaches kids to be lazy and selfish.

Letting kids have too much time in front of electronic devices to keep them quiet will backfire afterwards.

SOLUTION: Like Dog Training, ‘Child training’, is a learned skill. We need to balance Love and Limits, and set boundaries.  You must be a Leader and take control. Learn how to discipline, limit electronic time, and KEEP THEM BUSY with other activities. Read more…

Mistake # 3- Undermining your spouse’s authority in front of the children.

Having disagreements over how to raise the kids is inevitable now and then, but take care not to belittle or override your spouse in front of the children. Trying to be ‘RIGHT’ all the time can be wrong.

SOLUTION: Politely interject, “May I talk with you in the other room for a minute?”  Take your spouse aside quietly and share your ideas away from the kids. When you’ve come to an agreement, you can announce with a united front, “We have decided… etc”.

Mistake # 4 – Doing too much.

I was really good at that! One day my son yelled out, “DAD! MOM HAD A NERVOUS WRECK!”

We get caught up trying to get everything done, and end up ignoring our most important relationships. Our patience evaporates, and then our rapport with others, too. 

SOLUTION: SLOW DOWN – and QUICKLY! Face the fact that you will never get it all done. Two weeks after you are gone from this world, your house will need cleaning again, so RELAX. Allow yourself to be ‘interrupt-able’. Kids need YOU.

Mistake # 5 – Not planning ahead.

Are you working too hard? Are the kids letting you?  They will, if you LET them!

SOLUTION: ORGANIZE. Have regular family meetings where you discuss family goals and desires. There is less chaos when there is order in the home. Share the problems you have getting everything accomplished. Divide the chores among everyone according to their abilities and create more peace at home. Read more…

There’s lots more!

Make sure you take advantage of all the free resources 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 image means.


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


My Illustrated, Customizable Behavior CHARTS are FREE! As an animation artist, I first created them for my own kids. They worked so well, that I thought, “Why isn’t someone doing this for the moms and dads who don’t know how to draw?”
In 2003 I put them online, and GoMommyGO quickly became a resource for Autism Speaks, Headstart groups, many pre-schools, parents and teachers and a contributor to EDU DESIGNS.

It’s been a labor of love for over 14 years.
Will you help support my work? I have a special gift for you when you do.

You’ll get an instant download of my 100 BEHAVIOR CARDS that help you get organized!  A $9.99 value to use and share! 

The 3.5″ x 2″ images (business-card size) are perfect for planning ahead. Here’s a sample of what they look like:

Download ALL Cards with ANY donation!

When you click on the image above, it will take you to Paypal. Give what you can, then keep the page open and you will be redirected to your activity cards.  For full instructions and how to print, refer to this page.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are helping thousands of children and parents every day, providing materials for creativity and character development.

Thank you for helping the adults of tomorrow, today!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on 5 SERIOUS MISTAKES PARENTS MAKE


I love the taste of most non dairy creamers, like Coffee mate, but I know the sugar in them promotes inflammation, the precursor to most diseases. Honey is better by far. Also, since Turmeric and Coconut oil contain anti-inflammatory, anti-alzheimer’s properties too, I was determined to find a way to include them in my regular diet without having to think about it. By making my own coffee creamer I found the perfect solution…

And I FOUND it – in my OWN KITCHEN!

Here’s my recipe: (Download it here)



Coconut oil


Almond or Soy Milk



Spices as desired (I add Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cloves. All are beneficial for you!)


Add in blender:

1 Cup Water (If the coconut oil is solid, use boiling water)

1/2 Cup Coconut oil

3 Tablespoons of real Vanilla

1 heaping Tablespoon of Lecithin*

Honey, to taste

Note: I add 3/4 Cup, however you can also use any natural sweetener, like Maple syrup or stevia instead. Avoid artificial sweeteners, (like Splenda, Sweet n Low, etc.) which contain Aspartame, a known nerve toxin)

OPTIONAL: 2 TBLSP Turmeric powder, plus a TBLSP of Cinnamon, a tsp of Ginger, 1/2 tsp each of Nutmeg, Cardamom, Cloves

Blend at low speed until mixed

(30 seconds or so)

With blender still running,

slowly add 3 cups of almond milk for another 15 seconds or until thoroughly mixed:

(you can also use coconut milk, soy or other non dairy alternative you like)


Shake before using.

It will get thicker as it cools.

Have fun experimenting, and adjust to YOUR taste!

* Either Soy Lecithin, or

Sunflower Lecithin are available at Health Food Stores or iHerb.comLecithin is a natural emulsifier, which blends oil and water, and contains many brain boosters, like Phosphatidyl Choline & Other Phosphatides)

I get my powdered Turmeric at iherb.com, as well.

Here is a discount promo code for first time customers: https://www.iherb.com/?rcode=KID067

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHY NON-DAIRY CREAMER



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! 


The First Art Book to reference Math standards for Grades K-8!

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.

Thank you.

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


Being connected made the difference.

holdHands_rectangle-lo-resWhen I was a child my mom and I would walk a long way to the grocery store. It was hard to keep up unless she would hold my hand. When she did hold my hand, somehow her energy would be transmitted to me, and it was easier to go the distance.

Connectedness is needed by adults as well as children. In Claudia Gold’s excellent post, she reveals how

 “Connectedness . . . protects us against the harmful effects of stress.” 

When I had kids of my own, there were days when the thought of cleaning the house weighed on me like a sack of bricks. But if I knew that someone I liked was coming over, the work breezed by. It was the anticipation of a supportive friend that made the work easier to accomplish – even fun. 

Just the IDEA of being connected to someone can make a positive difference!

The burden we bear alone is twice as hard to carry.

And we don’t have to carry it alone.

If you’re someone who has failed at connecting with others, here are some things you can do. Develop the capacity for empathy, become a flexible thinker, learn to regulate your emotions and practice resilience.

To learn this you will need to find someone who will listen and respond. Some things are more ‘caught than taught’.

A good relationship requires Connectedness.

You throw the ball to me. I throw it back.

Simple, right?

And yet in communication, sometimes we forget to ‘catch the ball’, much less ‘throw it back’!

To have real communication, or ‘connectedness’ with our friends, children, or spouse, we need to establish a good rapport.

That happens by SEEING, LISTENING, and RESPONDING with them.

We express connectedness through EYE CONTACT, BODY LANGUAGE and KIND WORDS…

To truly understand what we hear another say, we need to THINK, FEEL, and SENSE what our instincts are saying at the same time! 


brain_blue-RT-facingYour brain hears the words, then PROCESSES the information using our thinking, feeling and instinctive centers to understand it.




For a good relationship to grow, think before you speak:

Is it loving? Is it kind? Is it helpful?

hand-sm-blueWhen you communicate, make an effort to combine your MIND, HEART and INSTINCTS to really connect with others. It’s a great ‘people skill’ that gets better with practice!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.

EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.


Please donate!

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on CONNECTEDNESS

Your Family Constitution

What will YOUR kids stand for?

“If you don’t STAND for SOMEthing, you’ll fall for anything!”

When my kids were little, I was losing ground. My utopian dream of bringing loving, creative people into the world was turning into a nightmare.  Just being a ‘good example’ wasn’t working. The ‘nicer’ I became, the more they took advantage and were becoming people I disliked: Greedy, selfish, mean, petty and squabbling. I had to put my foot down. 

Time For A Family Meeting

“All right, guys. There’s been too much fighting going on. We need to work things out. FAMILY MEETING TIME!”

We usually had a Family Meeting once a week, but when something extreme came up, we would have them at any time. We sat in a circle in the living room and I reminded them of the rules of the meeting: 

1- Sit quietly,

2- Listen carefully,

3- If you have something to say, raise your hand and wait your turn.

Make A Family Constitution

I challenged the kids to think:

“Who ARE we, anyway? What do we STAND for? What VALUES do we hold dear? We need to decide what kind of people we want to be. We need to create a ‘Family Constitution’.”

Taking notes, each child contributed what they thought were important rules for good behavior – points to add to our Family’s ‘Constitution’. Soon we had a list of ‘DO’s and DON’TS’ we all agreed on, and taped the list to the kitchen wall.

Things like:

DO: Be kind, helpful, do chores, feed the animals, do homework, etc…

DON’T: Fight, stick out your tongue, cuss, hit, yell or throw things, etc.”

Whenever anyone did something wrong (or right), we would add that infraction or good character trait to the list, and soon we needed to add more pages and the list was as long as my arm!

At our next meeting We looked at our list again. 

Then it came to us. All the items on the list boiled down to one rule that applied: That if we could treat one another the way we wanted to be treated, it would solve most of our problems.

The Golden Rule, by Ruth Elliott, 1987

THAT said it ALL!

“Treat others the way YOU want to be treated” became our new “Family Constitution”. When a conflict came up, the way to resolve it became simpler. 

The good thing about going through the exercise of listing all the do’s and don’ts was that it forced us to examine ourselves, to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, and observe how our actions and attitudes affect others. It increased our empathy for one another, and showed us that everything we do is creating the kind of person we are becoming.

John Jolliffe once said:


What kind of person do YOU love?

Are you becoming that person?

Love and Warm Wishes,

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon 
Founder & Director: EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
Creator: GoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Your Family Constitution


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 behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children, Ethics and Character, moms and babies, parenting, Psychology | 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, 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*

Download 90+ Cards with ANY donation!

Download Free with any donation!

Use them to make a CHART to show


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  all 11 pages that include 100+ activity cards with any donation to EDU DESIGNS, using the button below. Just download and 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® <director@edudesigns.org>


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


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!


Please help us reach more kids by giving us a 5 star review!

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

Will you help us earn it again, this year?  

Please Leave your 5 star review HERE and then download my Art Textbook with my thanks!  

Read more, below: 

Thousands of children, their parents and teachers benefit from what we do.

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!

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!

You will help too, by sharing what we do, and giving us a 5 star rating on Great Non Profits!  

Just Leave your review here (It will open in a new window) and then come back and fill out the form below to get your Art Book Download!

Thank you so much.

I appreciate you.




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

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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


Why is it that some people seem to have more empathy than others? And some seem to have none at all. How did we get this way? Is it nature? Is it nurture?

Neuroscientist Dr. Marco Iacoboni, author of Mirroring People, the new Science of how we connect with others” tells how scientists have discovered the brains’ capacity for what they call ‘mirroring’: the ability to feel something that happens to another as though it’s happening to us!  

According to Dr. Iacoboni, “…whenever you expose kids to any form of violence, through media, through video games or through films, then you put these kids at risk of expressing violence with their own acts because they’re going to imitate that.

What we call ‘empathy’ happens when our brains light up in the same areas in our brains that mirror what the other person is feeling. One of the earliest scientific observations found a monkey’s brain fired up seeing someone licking an ice cream cone as though he were eating it himself!

Dr. Iacoboni says, “All in all, we come to understand others via imitation, and imitation shares functional mechanisms with language and empathy.”

To me  that sounds like: “MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO!”

Most of us are innately wired to feel for each other.

It’s no wonder that most spiritual faiths embrace some kind of teaching that expresses “Treat others the way YOU want to be treated”.

But how can we teach that to children?

What kids need is more GOOD examples.

Our kids will only be teachable for a little while, and they are learning from YOU things that are ‘more caught than taught’.   Dr. Iacoboni said, ”The way we understand other people’s feelings is by simulating in our brain the same activity we have when we experience those emotions.”

Turn off the TV and involve them with the day to day things that you need to do. Let them ‘mirror’ what YOU are doing. It’ll be more fun if you work together. They’ll learn to help and their fun will be so much better when they are done. And they’ll be proud of themselves.

I know you care about educating children for good character, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

If you ARE a parent, here are some links you can use to help you find things fast on GoMommyGO®:

 1- FREE 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 – And what to do when you need to give CONSEQUENSES for bad behavior.

 Many thanks for reading and caring about the future adults around you! For your gift of any amount, we have something special for you – Click here to find out what it is!

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!

Please donate!




Posted in Character Development, Child Development, Children, Education, Ethics and Character, Psychology | Comments Off on HOW KIDS LEARN EMPATHY

GET While You GIVE!

Monkey See - Monkey DO!

From EDU 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!



Give Kids what they REALLY need:


It starts when they’re small.

The Four Building Blocks of Character can be boiled down to these:






BUILDING BLOCK # 1 We learn to ASK or ADMIT 

When we learn to say, “PLEASE?” we ASK. In ASKING, we ADMIT our need for others! From the moment we were born we began asking – crying – for our needs to be met. The very fact of our existence is proof that someone answered that cry – cared about us enough to nurture, feed and protect us – or we wouldn’t be here. Sometimes we hate to admit we need other people. But relationships are the stuff of life! We ALL need each other, so it’s OK to ASK. Hopefully we learn to ask POLITELY!

PLEASE – teach kids to say PLEASE!

BB-04-thanksm-webBUILDING BLOCK # 2We learn to THANK!

When we realize we need others, we begin to be THANKFUL for what has been given us. We wouldn’t have anything, not even life itself, if it had not been first been GIVEN TO us!

THANK YOU for teaching kids to say“THANK YOU!”



Being human we all make mistakes. To APOLOGIZE requires humbling ourselves and ADMITTING we are not perfect. We can never grow further in our character until we can learn to say, “I’m Sorry.”  (See my little story ‘THE LAND of I’M SORRY’!)



After we admit we are not perfect, we can then say, “I FORGIVE YOU”, knowing that we also need forgiveness. How else can we get along in this world?


The habits we learn as children will stay with us a lifetime. Giving kids THE FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER will lay the foundation of a good life.

How many gang wars, world wars, marriage conflicts and sibling rivalries would be avoided if people just learned these four things:

ADMIT we need each other,

THANK others,

APOLOGIZE for our mistakes, and

FORGIVE one other!

“Habits are actions built up strong and tall.

Like bricks laid together to form a high wall.

When once they are built it is so hard to break them,

you’d better be careful about how you MAKE them!”  – Mr. Stevens*


You can order a complete set of 6 POSTERS on the FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS OF CHARACTER, and receive a bonus poster of the story, THE LAND OF “I’m SORRY”, too!



The complete set of 7 posters is $7.99.

Each poster is 8.5″x11″, suitable for framing.

Click the BUY NOW button below for secure ordering.


Choose # Sets


*P.S. Thanks to Mr. Stevens, a 5th Grade teacher! 

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!

Please donate!








Posted in behavior, Character Development, Child Development, Children, Psychology | Comments Off on FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS of CHARACTER!