“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!


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 allowed us to earn the 2016 badge from Great Non Profit’s!  To thank you for watching, I have a gift for you too:

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 tell everyone about this character-building story for kids. Please share! 


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!

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!”, will help us earn our 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

EDU DESIGNS needs your help to win the 2016 Great Non Profit’s Seal

 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,


You can help by sharing my book with them! To get a complimentary digital copy, please go to our Great Nonprofits page, click on “Write a Review”, and tell how YOU think the arts help kids.

 Then email me at rewards@edudesigns.org to let me know you did! 

Can you do that for me?

You will get a free download of my Art Book for kids when you do. 

And I thank you so much for helping. 

The kids will appreciate it!



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 PublicHealthLibrary.org 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

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! https://youtu.be/IJAKzqK20kQ

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!



Betty with little Matthew a week after he joined the family.

Welcome to our home

We knew we wanted children and made the decision to adopt. When we started the process it was so exciting to think that we would be able to offer them a place in our home . . . to become part of our family!

Both of our children arrived from Central America at 5 ½ months old.

I was always a little sensitive to their health issues, however, since we had no genetic background on either one of them.

About 1 ½ years before our son was to finish college he fell ill. It seemed one thing or another.  I talked to him daily and encouraged him to see the medical staff at college. He continued to plug along so I thought it was just the long nights of studying and not eating properly that contributed to his exhaustion.
Then 3 weeks before he was to finish college he wanted to throw in the towel and just quit and come home. It broke my heart, but I encouraged him to stay since he was so close to being done. We had a long phone conversation and the next day he called me. 

“Mom, I thought about it and I am not a quitter. I’m going to do whatever it takes to finish the last weeks I have left.”

It was a sigh of relief. I talked to him a couple of times a day just to check up on his mental and physical state. He made it to the finish line and came home. I couldn’t be more proud of him.

When he finally arrived home we thought his dream job of becoming an animator was just around the corner. January 2015 we went to the Dr. and he was put on a 6 month prescription for a dermatological condition that had developed. Because of it he had to stay close to the Dr. here and could not really venture out of the area. I told him it was ok, that after the 6 months were over he could continue to find his dream job.

However, in June 2015, he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. His words were “Life is not fair to me”. Our hearts melted and we knew that we had to be strong for him.

The first surgery was performed days after the diagnosis and then it was a choice between Chemo Therapy and RPLND surgery. We did discuss this but knew that it was his body, his life and that he had to make the final decision. He elected surgery and we backed him 100%. August 2015 it was performed, and in recovery is now getting stronger every day.  His team of Doctors at the cancer center gave him a good prognosis. With active surveillance he will get blood work every 3 months and a yearly CT scan. 

I am so thankful that after all he has been through his passion for art and animation is stronger today than it has been in a long time. His words now are:  “Mom I have been sick, been told I have cancer, had 2 surgeries, now it’s time to move ahead in life and prove that whoever hires me will be glad they did”.

Here is Matt today, a survivor, pursuing his dream of a career in Animation.

Here is Matt today, a survivor, pursuing his dream of a career in Animation.

I reflect on what I have always told my children since they were little:
“Follow your dream in life – in your dream is your strength”
“Don’t compare yourself to others, you are your own person, stay grounded, stay rooted and always try to always find a positive in everyday”
“Don’t let negative things that happened in the past control how you navigate through your future”

NOTE from Ruth: I am so grateful for the love and support Betty has given her son, physically and emotionally. By encouraging him to follow his dream he will be a blessing to many. He has already blessed others us by generously sharing his talents in our animated short, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU. See a preview of the film he helped to bring to life here:
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 Art, Character Development, Happiness, illness, overcoming obstacles, parenting, School, stress | Tagged , | Comments Off on A Mother’s Gift: WELCOME TO OUR HOME


See What You're Looking At! © Ruth Elliott

Click the picture to find out MORE about Ruth Elliott’s Art Textbook for kids “See What You’re Looking At!”

SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT reveals the secrets of how children (and adults) can learn to draw!


LIMITED TIME ONLY until our next printing:

Get a FREE download of my Art Book with any donation!(A $9.99 Value)

Click the Blue Button above for a sneak peek at a few pages of this book!

After donating 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. 

PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS!  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 the previous one, to discover new skills 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.

For a limited time only, Get a FREE download with any donation!


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 My ART BOOK for KIDS!


EDU Designs AND DaniMation Entertainment TEAM UP

Somebody Needs You is a story about a distracted little girl who thinks she’s not important. Once she sees that others around her have real problems, she discovers something new about herself.
Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, founder of EDU Designs, created the story & music and assists in animation & production.
The animated short features the voice talents of the incomparable June Foray. Best known for her work on Rocky and Bullwinkle in the early 60’s, and a myriad of cartoon characters over the years, June created the annual Annie Awards in 1972 to recognize the contributions of individuals in the Animation Industry. June lent her voice to our story as a personal favor to me.
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 is the director and chief animator of our project. Dani founded DaniMation Entertainment, of La Cañada, CA, at the remarkable age of 14. As a high functioning individual with Autism, she has a passion for public speaking, animation, and teaching the arts to others on the spectrum. After Dani agreed to work personally with me on this film, I knew I had found a partner. She has been the prime mover in bringing this work-of-love to life.
Left: Ruth, June Foray, Dominique Ovalle, and Nicholas Mastrangelo. Right: Matt Miller’s stand-in.
We also received valuable support from several other notable artists: On backgrounds, Dominique Ovalle; in animation, Nicholas Mastrangelo; and with character development, Matt A. Miller. All donated their generous time and energy. So thankful for them!
We are now in final production. Look for our animated short to be released online soon!
Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.
EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® are there to help.
GoMommyGO® is a Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS, a Non Profit 501(c)(3) Corporation 
Fed. Tax ID # 26-1576531   (626) 344-2340    
Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU!


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!  

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. And certainly nothing makes you sacrifice for another person faster than being a parent. When your little one suffers, you suffer. When they laugh, you’re happy. And in moments of clarity we may even see a bum on the street as a mother’s once beloved child, and suddenly we are all humanity struggling with the same breath.

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?

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 kids need is more GOOD examples.

We get tired. The house is a mess. The pressure is great to finish our ‘to do’ lists. But 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.”

So why not let them help with some of those chores? Turn off the TV and involve them with the day to day boring things that you want to ‘get over with’. Let them ‘mirror’ what YOU are doing. It’ll be more fun if you work together. They’ll learn to sacrifice, too! A little bit won’t hurt them. Really. And their fun will be so much better when they are done. They’ll be proud of themselves, too.

That’s why I made all my Behavior Charts and put them on GoMommyGO® for Free. So you can reinforce the kinds of behaviors you want your children to have.

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

If you ARE a parent, I know you must be pretty busy, so thank you for your time!

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, I have something special for you – Click here to find out what it is!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

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 | Comments Off on HOW KIDS LEARN EMPATHY



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


My BEST, to YOU!



Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

*P.S. Thanks to my son Jon for sharing this poem he learned from Mr. Stevens in 5th Grade and STILL REMEMBERS! 

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, cognitive development, Happiness, Psychology, stress | Comments Off on FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS of CHARACTER!

Great Idea for Creative Kids!

While searching for a pop up card to make for my grandson, I found so many great ideas that I couldn’t decide which one to make!  

But one of the best ideas I discovered was in this awesome video from creative artist, Maybelline Chow. (Check out her blog at: www.maybeitsmaybe.blogspot.com)

I wanted to make one, too, but when I couldn’t find a template, I studied the video and made my own in Photoshop.  You can print it out to make 4 cards on one 8 1/2 X11 page of card stock.  Here’s the template:


Drag the image to your desktop (or go to this link if that doesn’t work: 

http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/never-ending-card-base-low-res2.jpg  and right click to ‘save as’ to your computer.

The RED lines show where to CUT.  The GREY DOTTED lines show where to FOLD.  

Here are the steps I followed after printing out the page:

NOTE: Watch Maybelline Chow’s video carefully all the way to the end. Study how the same motion is repeated each time, so you can remember it.

1- Cut the page with scissors along the solid vertical and horizontal red lines to make four cards.

2- Carefully cut the 2 lines that look like a Red X in the center of the card. I used an exact-o knife and a straight edge, over a self-healing cutting matt.   (WARNING: BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL. Using an Exact-o knife, or box knife, can be very dangerous if you are not accustomed to it. If you are a child, do not attempt this without adult supervision.)

3- Once the X is cut in the center of the card, SCORE only the GREY dotted lines to make them easier to bend.

4- Holding the card in the air, bend the top section towards you, allowing the pointy part under it to swing up behind it so it does NOT get bent too. Do this for each of the sides, as is shown in the pictures below.

IMG_7846a IMG_7848IMG_7854a







Once you’ve gotten the creases in the right place, begin by drawing your first face in the OPEN position. Observe where Maybelline put the different parts of the face in the video, so they could be covered up by the next flaps! Experiment using light pencil to get them in the right places, then fold the next part down and keep adding sections of the next face you decide on. When you are happy with the different faces on each side, you can go over them with ink, markers, or any thing you like!

Have fun!


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 Art, Character Development | Comments Off on Great Idea for Creative Kids!


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. Then somehow her energy would be transmitted to me, and it was easier to go the distance.

Connectedness IS the difference.

Connectedness is needed by adults as well as children. In Claudia Gold’s latest post, she reveals how “Connectedness . . . protects us against the harmful effects of stress.” 

There used to be days when the thought of cleaning the house weighed on me like a sack of bricks. But anytime someone I liked was coming over, the work breezed by with near joy. 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 big, positive difference.

How we THINK and relate to others is most important in connecting.

Connecting is COMMUNICATING on important levels, from the INSIDE-OUT.

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

And we don’t have to.

If you’re the type who has failed at connectedness, 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 do this you will need to find someone who will listen.

And, IF you have to force yourself, listen back.


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

PEACE and LOVE are a LOT of WORK!

I love people! When I was a little kid I dreamed of having lots of children.  And I wanted to change the world by bringing good people into it, one person at a time. 

ruth-singingWhen I was twenty years old I wrote a song for my future children, imagining what I would say to them should they ever make a mistake so bad they were afraid to come home.  It took over 40 years to get the song recorded, but last month it happened, thanks to a friend, and this month my husband and I made it into a video on YouTube!


Life is a lot of work, isn’t it?

That’s why I’ve created this blog. Now that my own kids are all grown up, I have more time to share practical tips for handling the challenges you may face too.

Here are a few you may need right now!




HELP STOP BULLYING (3 posters for you)


Love to you and yours,


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 PEACE and LOVE are a LOT of WORK!




Click to DOWNLOAD The PRINTABLE Version. 







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 7 SUPER STRATEGIES to SUCCEED IN SCHOOL!