Art Assemblies inspire students

Ruth Elliott’s ART assemblies promote positive attitudes, better behavior & academic achievement as well as spatial awareness, which has been shown to raise math scores.

The Arts can increase math scores by up to 15%!

Ruth wrote the first art textbook to reference K-8 Math standards and shares it with her Art Presentations.

Art Assemblies with Ruth Elliott

What will happen during the assemblies?

During the presentations students enjoy drawing tips from Emmy Award winning author and artist Ruth Elliott! Her years of experience in the animation industry have given her a desire to share her love of art and stories with children, who enjoy participating and learning valuable character lessons.

Drawing instruction may include all or part of the following: Understanding structure, perspective, expressing emotions, character development, story progression and basic animation.

We always provide paper for the children to draw on!

Scheduling DETAILS might look like this:

Most Presentations are 45-60 minutes each of any group size:

We can do from 1-4  assemblies per day, to reach all students in a school.

Here’s a sample schedule you can adjust to your needs.

8:30 am – 9:15 am

9:30 am – 10:45 am

11am – 11:45 am

12:30 – 1:15 pm

What does the school need to do to get ready?

We provide paper for the children to draw on!

The school needs to have this equipment ready:

1 – a screen to project on
2 – an Overhead Projector with a document camera or ‘Elmo’ 
3 – a Microphone / speakers
4 – a DVD player that works with the Projector
5 – a pencil for each child and something for them to lean on (book, clipboard or desk) 

(if not available, let us know, and we will provide alternatives)

Our assembly presentation is valued at $1,200 per day, however it is available for any donation of any size when you use our “Share With Another School” program. This saves us time calling schools, and saves you, too!

 house Our “Share with Another School” Program, gives the same experience to motivate and inspire your students to learn! 

Find out how to bring our Art Presentation to your school here!

Call Ruth for more information: 626-940-4768

Children with special needs enjoy art and music enrichment, too:Kids with Special Needs love learning how to draw with Ruth Elliott!

Contact us to schedule your Art Presentation today!

(The Free Presentation is Limited to Southern CA at present, subject to scheduling availability.)

Other areas need to provide transportation and accommodations – Find out more here)

Note from Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of Edu Designs and GoMommyGO®:

I founded EDU DESIGNS after my 7 kids grew up and I realized there were more children out there who needed positive media and educational resources to lift them up. Your support allows us to nurture the little ones with high ideals of good character, which will help the REST of us when THEY become the adults in charge!

Your donation helps us to provide for schools in need.

DONATE by clicking the button below!

Thank you for helping!



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

great non-profit's seal



Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on ART + FUN = LEARNING for LIFE!


teachers and students

Teachers are excited and happy along with the children who get to learn about birds!

In Fontana, these kids are “for the birds” – in a very positive sense. They are enjoying the combination of science and art enrichment thanks to Lisa Elliott who received a grant from the Community Foundation and the EECallowing students to learn about birds and draw them, too! Lisa teaches them to become citizen scientists by observing and identifying different birds and their natural surroundings, the importance of birds to our ecosystem and how to use a binocular for bird watching. In the classes they learn how to record their findings and even how to draw their feathered friends.


fledgling Grosbeak bird

Abby, the Rescued Grosbeak!

When students hear the story and see pictures of Abby, the bird we rescued, they are immediately touched, inspired to become more involved with bird life.

students drawing birds

Students are totally engaged as Emmy Award Winning Artist Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon teaches how to draw birds!

The excitement builds as Emmy Award winning artist Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon shows them how to draw birds and create their own animated flip page!


At the end of the classes the students are invited to borrow a special school backpack that contains all the equipment needed to birdwatch and record their findings. Included is a book to identify birds, binoculars, pencils, paper and information on how to record and share their data. 


The best part of all is seeing the joy on the children’s faces as they actively engage with the world around them and learn to participate in caring for nature. This will truly impact them for the rest of their lives!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of Edu Designs and GoMommyGO®

If you believe in our mission, please support us!

We need your help! All donations go towards our non-profit’s mission to create media for children’s character development and education. Not a single cent of your gifts go for salaries.


We recently won the Top Non Profit’s Seal for 2018! 
One of the reviewers said,
“Whether children are enjoying art or doing it, it expands the mind, imagination, and ability to focus for extended periods of time which translates to success in all areas of curriculum. Clever and well-done content that promotes empathy and goodwill is what we just can’t have enough of. Go Edu Designs!”
Are your kids getting enough art?
Make sure to ask about our art assemblies.


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on THESE KIDS ARE “FOR THE BIRDS!”

Childhood Trauma Can Lead to Adult Addiction

Childhood trauma can lead to adult addiction. It’s scary, but true.

This article gives a great view of the facts in a nutshell.

“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events, such as abuse or neglect, that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. 

“An Ounce of Prevention is worth a POUND of Cure”

Preventing Childhood Trauma before it happens is the best way to assure the  health and well-being of adults.  Well, DUH! Seems obvious, right? Well, now there’s PROOF!

“Mighty Oaks from little Acorns grow”

This tells me EDU DESIGNS and GoMommyGO® have been on the right track for a long time.


Prevent ‘toxic stress’ from impacting your family. Get help.  


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on Childhood Trauma Can Lead to Adult Addiction


comic about kidsEmbrace the challenge Children bring – and you will gain skills you need in every part of life! 


— 1- To Observe
They teach you to PAY ATTENTION to another. And if you don’t watch them they’ll do something to force you to notice them!

2- To Plan Ahead
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. For example:
When dinner isn’t ready when they are hungry, their screams will make you wish you HAD planned ahead! Want to be a success at something? Success is where Preparation and Opportunity meet. Learn to plan your work and work your plan.

3- To DO – Be Proactive, not REACTIVE
(ie: Be ready to be interrupted at the drop of a hat to do whatever needs to be done! See INTERRUPTIBILITY)
You learn:
Strike while the iron is hot.
Don’t wait till things fall apart.
Foresight IS better than hindsight.
Plant seeds of character by your example.
The sooner you face a problem the easier it is to solve.
For instance, the best time to discipline a teenager is when he’s 3 years old!
Understand that there will always be messes, physical or emotional.
Just clean them up as soon as they happen.

Remember: There are 3 kinds of people in the world:
Those who make things happen
Those who watch things happen
And those who wonder WHAT happened! (You don’t want to be that one!)

When done right, being a parent teaches you how to take care of business.
Like the CEO of a corporation, you will be ready to handle anything the world can throw at you.

In business, people use Other People’s Money to succeed.
In the world of Parenting, you can use Other People’s Work to make the job easier.

I want you to get my 9 tips to keep you from freaking out,
to help you get a handle on what to do to keep your head above water
so you can begin to start being proactive in your life.

Here’s what Deaunna Evans, from Super Moms Coaching said about these 9 tips:

“I just finished reading your amazing 9 TIPS TO KEEP YOU FROM FREAKING OUT!
These 9 tips you give are some excellent FOUNDATIONAL keys to helping parents become more responsive rather than reactive.
So practical. So true…”

My dad once told me “Remember, Ruthie- no matter how hard it gets, there’s always a way through!” 
You never need to be a victim of circumstance. Learn how to get through and be in control again with these 9 tips.

Warmest wishes,

PS -Speaking of being proactive,  I need to ask a big favor.
If you love our work with kids, will you give us a 5 star review on GreatNonprofits?

Go to


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
Founder, Director, EDU DESIGNS, a public-benefit nonprofit charity.
Creator: GoMommyGO®, the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS
Our Mission is to create and distribute media for the education, motivation and character development of Children.

Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on HOW KIDS TEACH YOU THESE THREE THINGS


Can Comics teach character? Of course they can! It’s all about the STORY!

Fun at San Diego Comic-Con, 2017!

At my art presentations to kids, whenever I ask the question, “Does anyone here like cartoons?” I get a howling “YES!” from everyone!

The overwhelming popularity of events, such as Comic-Con, are proof that comics and cartoons hit a universal nerve: The Good Guys vs. The Bad Guys.


Superheroes are primarily good examples of courage in the face of adversity, the willingness to bring the bad guys to justice, and protect the innocent. Although the milieu is outlandish and supernatural, it always encompasses a full range of human strength and weaknesses. We are left with the sense that even though we ordinary humans don’t have the power to move mountains or fly, we can still be a force for good in this world. We can still be heroes. That’s what superhero comics teach us.

In the end, superheroes represent human values.

At the heart of each of us is the desire to be victorious over our problems. We need good examples. Superheroes provide an example of strength over tribulations. 

The common man, living a life of ‘quiet desperation’, needs hope. Characters like Spiderman, Superman and all the rest highlight the angst we ‘stuff’ in order to tolerate the inane humdrum pace of our lives and for a brief moment give us a sense of power. That little shot of adrenaline provides a boost as a catharsis to get us to FEEL again.


Einstein said, "Imagination is  everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.  Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Thousands flock to comic conventions all over the world.

Comics answer the deep need in the human psyche for a Higher Power – someone to take charge.  If we can’t identify with Superheroes in real life, then we can at least enjoy the feeling in our imagination.

Nothing comes into being without imagining it first. The fellowship  at Comic-cons everywhere gives believers’ place to join in kinship with others to affirm the value of imagination in concrete form.

EDU DESIGNS is working to spur the character and imagination of children through our media and teaching tools. 

Please join with us in our mission. 

Every little bit helps! 

Warm Wishes,




Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of Edu Designs and GoMommyGO®

We need your help! Every penny of your donation goes towards our non-profit’s mission to create media for children’s character development and education. Not a single cent of your gifts go for salaries!




Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on CAN COMICS TEACH CHARACTER?


All Volunteer Board of Directors:

Our Board of Directors generously volunteers their time and energy to create an organization that inspires children to be constructive members of society. That means 100% of your contribution will go to programs that help children, and not for salaries. Every contribution helps! Edu Designs makes careful use of your support. We don’t use a single cent of your gifts for overhead – 100% goes to programs to help children.

Director: Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, co-founder of EDU DESIGNS: VIP member of Worldwide Who’s Who. Emmy Award Winning Artist, author/illustrator, and creator of GoMommyGO®, a Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS, with FREE  Illustrated Behavior Charts and Tips for Parents.

Director, CEO : D. R. Elliott-Cullquipuma, co-founder of EDU DESIGNS: BA in Childhood Development, MA in Education, Awarded Best Teacher in 2007 by the LA Board of Supervisors, given the Golden Apple Award in 2010 & 2018; recognized by the William Clinton Foundation in 2011; Contributing writer and Content Creator for EDU DESIGNS.

Director of Business Develoment: Lawrence Ma, Creator of International Processing Systems

Director of Creative Development: Jas Hilsdon,  Songwriter and Lyricist

Director: Dr. Raymond Jones, PhD, LMFT, MDiv, CSAT-S, CHt.

Director of Technical Development: Keidric Wong, Internet Specialist

Director of Business Development for Special Needs: Sandra Vielma

Art and Science In Life (ASIL) Advisor: Lisa Elliott

Associate Creative Director: Annie Elliott

Autism Advocates in Media: Dani Bowman, Patrick Eidemiller and Sandra Vielma of Powerlignt Studios


The Art of Music: Hans Adamson

Engineering Life Skills: Bob Blick

Integrity in Life: Robert & Kathy Butler

Art and Knowledge: Bonnie & Tim Callahan

Musical Inspiration: Liza Carbe & Jean Pierre Durand

Art and Science In Life (ASIL): Lisa Elliott

Music and Creative Support: Richie Furay

Art & Education Research: Carol Goodwin

Homeschool Education: Emily Grimley

Middle School Media: Steven Guiles

Bilingual Music for Children: Sara Quintanar

Character and Compassion: Peter Romano

Legal Advisor: Amanda Seward, Esq.

Prior CFO and Co-Founder:

 David Elliott, (In Memoriam):



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




Edu Designs makes careful use of your support!

We don’t use a single cent of your gifts for salaries.

The Better Business Bureau and Charity Navigator both applaud Program Efficiencies above 66%. EDU DESIGNS is 79%!

The information on this site should not take the place of personal consultation with a qualified healthcare professional and/or behavioral therapist when needed.


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on DIRECTORS


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon with Lisa Elliott as she receives the grant award from The Community Foundation!

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon with Lisa Elliott as she receives the grant award from The Community Foundation!

Can dreams become reality? You betcha! Just ask Elizabeth Elliott. As the Lead Teacher for Elementary Science Enrichment, her dream was to inspire students to look closely at the nature all around them, grow into citizen scientists, and become engaged adults with an awareness of their environment.

This became a reality when she decided to do something about it. 


Logo for The Community Foundation

Ms. Elliott did some research and discovered that The Community Foundation and the EEC, were offering grants to increase community awareness and involvement with the environment. Just what was needed!

She applied for the small grant to finance her project which would empower five schools in her district to receive a program to teach students environmental awareness, drawing from life, and citizen science through bird watchingThe Community Foundation gladly awarded it, knowing that students will become enriched through observing and drawing birds and nature, which would propel them to investigate involvement in their environment.


The project, called, “Fontana is for the Birds” will bring art and science together as Emmy Award winning artist Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, founder of EDU DESIGNS shares her skills in Life drawing. This will add to the training students and teachers will receive in bird identification, data collection and interpretation.

sketch of two lovebirds snuggling on a branch

Sketch by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

Each school will be given a birding backpack for their library containing: two pair of binoculars, a pencil pouch, colored pencils with sharpener, a birding book, a bird quick guide, and a bird observation journal. Students will be able to check out the backpack in order to bird-watch with their families and record their observations. The student’s observations can then be recorded into a program like eBird or Celebrate Urban Birds to facilitate a citizen science project!


Over 2,000 students and their families will be given the opportunity to continue their observations outside of the school grounds by checking out the backpack. Plus, 90 Teachers in the 5 schools will be provided with extension lessons for their classrooms in how to integrate nature observation into their ELA, Math, Science and Art instruction.

This program encourages young people to become more observant of their natural surroundings while becoming more involved in a positive way. By raising awareness of the need to interact consciously with the environment, we will all benefit in the long run. 

Have a dream? Add action, and it can become reality. It certainly does for Lisa Elliott!

golden goblet

As Nelson Mandela said, “Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world.”


Posted in Art, Character Development, School | Comments Off on DREAMS PLUS ACTION BECOME REALITY!


If you are feeling Outsmarted by your toddler, it’s no surprise. Your toddler’s BRAIN outperforms yours! Toddlers ‘terrible’ reputation is due to the fact that their brains are growing so fast, parents can’t keep up with them. According to “Magic Trees of the Mind: How to Nurture your Child’s Intelligence, Creativity, and Healthy Emotions from Birth Through Adolescence”, by Marian Diamond, Ph.D. & Janet Hopson:

“Metabolic rates keep rising in most brain structures until the energy use in a two-year old is equal to an adult’s. And then, the levels keep right on rising until, by age three, the child’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s…this glowing of brain cells remains at double the adult rate until about age nine or ten: at that time, metabolism begins dropping and reaches adult levels by age eighteen.

What a responsibility to parents! For whatever they input into their youngster’s growing minds will impact them for the rest of their lives. As they explain:

“The dendrites, the magic trees of the cerebral cortex, retain their ability to grow and branch, and it is this lifetime growing potential that enables us to continue learning and adapting. However, childhood is a particularly crucial time for the brain because of the neural sculpting that goes on: for many of our abilities, tendencies , talents and reactions, those that get “hardwired” in childhood become the collective mental platform upon which we stand and grow for the rest of our lives.”

The first few years of life will establish the degree of emotional security in a child. Though giving young children the attention they need is a lot of work, that EARLY investment reaps tremendous rewards LATER in life. The lack of it can be equally as devastating. According to the authors of “Magic Trees of the Mind:

“…the parts of the brain that process emotion grow and mature relatively early in a child and are very sensitive to parental feedback and handling. For infants and toddlers, an atmosphere conducive to healthy emotional development is probably the most important foundation a parent can provide. Proper nurturing at this stage is a priceless form of mental enrichment that lasts a lifetime, whereas inappropriate or inconsistent treatment, neglect, or outright abuse are forms of mental impoverishment that can also take a lifelong toll.”

Find some practical tips on how to react to a temper tantrums and more, here.

If you fear you lack the money to properly raise an emotionally healthy child, fear no more! What it takes to ‘enrich’ a child’s environment and emotional security, is simple, according to Marian Diamond, Ph.D. and Janet Hopson:

“It doesn’t take money to create a climate for enchanted minds to grow. It just takes information, imagination, motivation and effort. Once the habit of active involvement is entrained, experience will take over and those stimulated minds will do the rest for themselves in surprising and delightful ways.”

Your child is already growing up too fast. Love them like you won’t have THEM tomorrow, and TEACH them like they won’t have YOU tomorrow! 

It’s the MOST important thing you can DO.

Warm Wishes,

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of Edu Designs and GoMommyGO®

If you believe in our mission, please support us!

We need your help! All donations go towards our non-profit’s mission to create media for children’s character development and education. Not a single cent of your gifts go for salaries.



Posted in Child Development | Comments Off on YOUR TODDLER’S BRAIN OUTPERFORMS YOURS!



When I saw my first flip book at 8 years old I became excited to do animation myself!  I went on to create my own flip books, not realizing that one day I would go on to become an animator! 

When I show these to kids they are ecstatic and delighted!

Now you can get three of mine (and all proceeds help our non-profit continue).


Buy one or all three! Watch them, then order below: 


I love how the little squirrel’s tail moves as he runs along!



A character I created in 3D! Fun with Robart as he chases his Ball!

Here’s another view of the animation: 


Watch as the Face eats the flower and what happens in reverse!

Only $4 each, (or get an entire set of all 3 for just $9 (FREE SHIPPING, included!) Bulk rates available, too, as low as $1 each for 60 or more!

Contact me for bulk orders

First, select from the drop-down menu below, then click the ‘Buy Now’ button:


Any Questions? 

Email me!

Warm Wishes,

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of Edu Designs and GoMommyGO®

All proceeds go towards our non-profit’s mission to create media for children’s character development and education.

If you believe in our mission, please support us!



Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on FLIP BOOKS CREATE FUN!


Words are powerful things. My mom used to tell me, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

I thought sadly to myself, “Yeah. They only hurt your FEELINGS”. And somehow concluded that meant that feelings didn’t matter. Or they weren’t supposed to.

So I began dismissing my feelings, ignoring them and certainly never admitted them to others.

I know I’m not alone in this. How do these kinds of things happen?

I was raised by a loving mom and dad who were not abusive, extremely self-controlled and highly intelligent people. Maybe too intelligent?

At the age of 3, I distinctly remember crying with all of my family standing all around laughing at whatever it was that made me cry. I guess the reason wasn’t important to them, but it just left me feeling that they didn’t care how I felt.

Another time I must have been whining about something. My dad flexed his biceps in an Arnold Schwarzenegger pose and said staunchly, “BE A MAN!”, as though somehow any kind of weakness was a sin — and certainly being a woman meant being less than a man.

It took me years to rejoice in my femininity, to allow myself to be vulnerable, and to express my true feelings without thinking I had to be Spock-like.

The good news is, I got over it!

My own kids were a big part of the cure. Seeing their innocent expressions of feeling made me realize that mine were valuable too. And beautiful to behold.

I’m never going back, either!

I drew this picture as a teenager, when I suddenly realized we are all in the same leaky boat: 

“It’s OK, I’m You, TOO!” Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon

Nowadays, connecting with children and their parents at the store, dentist’s office, schools or wherever I go, confirms what I feel deep inside, that:

“It’s OK, I’m You, TOO!” 

We all need each other. If you can, will you help? After 27 years in the Animation Industry, Ruth founded the non-profit EDU DESIGNS to create media for children’s character development and education.


Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on STICKS AND STONES


We rescued a fledgling baby bird a couple of weeks ago, and are new parents again at 69 years old! 
Here’s a photo of when we first saw her, sitting stunned, on a walkway. 

We put some water in front of her, but she wouldn’t drink it. 

She seemed so depressed we brought her home. 
First we put her in a box:

And then were lucky to find a birdcage for $4 at a thrift store!

The wonderful lady at the Thrift Store knew a licensed Bird rehabilitator who told us:
1- what kind of bird she is (a female Black-headed Grosbeak)  
2- how to take care of her and
3- that we did the right thing to pick her up (she would have been ‘lunch’ for some wild animal if we hadn’t).
We named our new ‘baby’, Abby.
Here she is enjoying Jas’s piano playing while in her new cage:
She eats like a bird (all day)!
A quick video of Jas imagining what she was thinking while he was feeding her:

And a short video of me feeding her, too:
With all the good mothering and fathering, Abby is much happier… and getting bigger every day.
She wants to go outside, but we can’t let her her, yet, so  
we let her out of her cage a few times a day, to fly around the room: 
Here Jas caught her flying into the kitchen.
We have to make sure the stove isn’t on when she’s practicing her flying!

Today she landed on Jas’s head…

And then settled onto his shoulder for a bit!
She’s beginning to peck at things, too – a good sign she will be able to feed herself soon!
When we are sure she can eat on her own (and escape from our cat!) we will be able to release her back out into the wild!
Happy Father’s Day Everyone – whatever your species or gender!
Ruth and Jas…
and Abby!
baby bird

Abby the Black Headed Grosbeak!

AKA: ‘The Hilsdon Animal Rescue Society’ (wink, wink!)
Last year we rescued 8 cats and found homes for them, with the help of a wonderful organization in Connecticut called Our Companions.
Posted in Character Development | Comments Off on PARENTS AGAIN AT 69!


As the Keynote speaker to a large group of students recently at a college and career event, various educational organizations offered their options for study in many fields, including Business and Industry, Medical, Veterinary schools, the Navy, and the Arts

I asked them this question:

What do these things have in common?

An Apple…  A Peanut…  and a BABY?

What is it?


They all contain seeds of the future. 


Most people see an apple and think of the what the fruit has to offer- not the seed, but Johnny Appleseed saw the possibilities of many apples hidden inside each seed.


The first black botanist, George Washington Carver, was asked how he discovered over 300 uses for the peanut. He replied, “Every day I’d ask God, ‘God, Why did you make the peanut?'” 

We are so much bigger than a peanut, imagine the possibilities if we asked, “Why did you make ME?”

“Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow”


As Galadriel from The Lord Of The Rings said:

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future”

The greatest persons in history all needed their diapers changed as infants. No one starts out fully grown. We all need help from others. 


People have been trying to share their knowledge since time began.

People have been trying to share their wisdom and knowledge since time began -through WORDS, BOOKS and ACTIONS. Why? To help others. They want to share what they know and hope someone will unwrap the gift they have to give to the world. It’s all out there for you to find, if you look for it. 

Communication is the KEY

Communication is like throwing a ball back and forth.I throw some words at you, then you throw some back to me. Learn to listen attentively to ‘catch’ the ball before you throw yours back! Pay attention intently. Keep channels of communication open, by letting the ball go back and forth. Learn to think and analyze and communicate your thoughts accurately. And learn to love reading so you can absorb knowledge from other folks who have gone to the trouble of writing it down to share it with YOU! 


Have you got a little one? Learning to love READING starts with the first snuggly cuddle with a book while sitting in someone’s lap. I remember the warm fuzzies I got while my mom read to me as a child.

A great idea: 

Make an I CAN’ book to begin the lifelong journey to love reading. Use photos of THEM in it, and keep adding pages as they grow!

A tiny infant who can barely lift his head,  needs to train their nerves and muscles in order to eventually sit up, stand up and then eventually WALK. It is absolutely an amazing feat. I heard that learning to walk is the hardest thing a person will ever be required do in their entire life. And that means that if we have managed to get through the most difficult thing we will ever be asked to do, then we evidently already have the strength to overcome other struggles that come our way!

“Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow.” 

An I CAN’ book is just one way to help your little acorn to begin to see their growth and realize their POTENTIAL! 

Will a seed always grow to it’s full potential? 

No. A seed can fall into a crack and get stuck. But you’re not a plant – you can get up and walk, so there is always hope. It’s up to YOU, once you’re big enough.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“Make the most of yourself,  for that is all there is of You.”

How do we do that?


Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened. You are not alone in your struggles. There are lots of people all over the place who would want to help you – IF YOU WOULD ONLY ASK THEM! Keep looking and you will find them. 

Everyone has a story to tell.

When I was 6 years old, my older sister mentioned she was reading a book she called an ‘autobiography’. When I asked her what that word meant, she said, “That’s when you write down your life’s story.”

Shocked, I exclaimed, “You mean… they’re gonna ask me to write it all DOWN?”

I worried, “But – I’ve forgotten so much, already!”

Then and there, at 6 years old, I sat right down and determined to remember everything that had happened in my life, starting from yesterday, the day before that, and so on, as far back as I could. In the weeks to come I recalled sections of my toddlerhood, snippets of my life at a few months of age, and I even remembered being born.

What’s YOUR story?

Everyone wants a life of significance.

Most people look at successful people and imagine their journey looked something like this:

But in reality it probably looked more like this:

How DO you succeed?

Aim for your dearest dreams.  If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Keep your aim on what you truly yearn for, and the way will be shown for it to come to you.

Abraham Lincoln said:

“You cannot fail, unless you QUIT.”


Progress, however slow, is still progress. 

Develop Good Habits, including patience with yourself, and the time it takes to develop into your best self.



I always told my kids, and now my students, that all of life involves suffering of one sort or another. You can either suffer doing a job you love, or suffer doing a job you hate. Much better to suffer for something you love. So aim for a job you love. Work hard at developing your talents and abilities towards a field of work you love. Do it with all your might.

Helen Keller said:

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”  

Remember: Where there is life, there is hope. As long as there are people who need help, there’s a place for you in the world.

This is the message I share with hundreds of students at elementary schools I visit, encouraging them to take advantage of school and learn everything they can while they have the opportunity – before they grow up and are too busy working for a living. I tell them, “Don’t wait. Take advantage of every chance to learn something new. And keep learning. NOW is the only time we ever have. 


I founded EDU DESIGNS after my 7 kids grew up and I realized there were more children out there who needed positive media and educational resources to lift them up. THEY will become the adults in charge one day, when we are old and need them!

If you believe in our mission, please share this message.

And if you can spare a little ‘water’, please DONATE!


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LIFE TAKES UP MOST OF YOUR TIME, doesn’t it? And when we turn around, it’s the steady plodding forward, that gets us anywhere. 

You can’t change the waves, but you can adjust your sails.

When we look at successful people, we might think they just went “FloOOP!” from NOTHING to SUCCESS…

But in real life, it was probably more like this:

 I love the line in a song my husband wrote, “Things take time to happen overnight.”

When dealing with kids, we must especially hold on our vision of the good in them to keep going. Don’t look at today’s messes or you’ll “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. We musn’t give up.

Just look what happens to those who fall through the cracks because someone gave up on them, or perhaps they gave up on themselves:

I created this chart when I heard it costs more to imprison someone for 4 years than to educate them for 13 years. 

Research reveals that most who do land in prison have had less education. 

If we will educate kids WHILE THERE IS STILL HOPE – that’s when it counts.  Hold on to that vision – and don’t let go. It’s an awful lot of work, but worth every penny.

Regardless of whatever has happened in the past, WE are here, NOW!

 My mom would help me look at the bright side and say, It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

She would also say,“Where there’s Life, there’s HOPE.” 

Carl Sandburg said,

“A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”

Wherever I turn I seem to see new babies popping up everywhere – so there must be a LOT of hope going on!

One of the greatest joys I have is talking with new moms and admiring their little ones and sharing my GoMommyGO cards and illustrated charts with them. 

Helen Keller said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”  

I feel the same way. I can only do so much, but all my little ‘so much’s’ piled up might add up to a little more than I realize one day.

That’s why I love volunteering to help children through EDU DESIGNS. I look to the future and see kids who might be influenced to go in a better direction in life because of something I did. I’ll never know –  like my mom said – “Our effect on others is like the back of our head…We can’t really see it.”

Make sure YOU take advantage of all the good stuff we are doing here at EDU DESIGNS. And share it with others! If you can, join us – We’re having fun!


Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of Edu Designs and GoMommyGO®


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Ruth Elliott, EduDesigns founder

THANK YOU for caring about KIDS! If you have kids, they will thank you (someday) for turning off the TV and letting them have ‘Imagination time’! Your family will enjoy more peace of mind as they learn to develop problem solving skills, too.

Grab some paper and pencils and get started!

Please take advantage of the resources we have available:

A Free download of my Art Book for kids (and adults):

Free Art presentations for local schools as we can:

  Inspiration for Character Development

Free Illustrated Behavior Charts for the kids

Free Parenting Tips 

VIDEOS and more!

Warm Wishes,




Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Founder of Edu Designs and GoMommyGO®

PS -I founded EDU DESIGNS after my 7 kids grew up and I realized there were more children out there who needed positive media and educational resources to lift them up. Join our mission to nurture the little ones with high ideals of good character. 

Art is one of the BEST ways to motivate and inspire us at ANY age. While I was working in Animation, I found drawing to be calming and therapeutic. While my hands were busy, my mind was free, going deeper into understanding myself and the things that were troubling me. The insights that came were life-changing.  Along with finding solutions to problems, it was like meditation, but easier to do for someone like myself who has trouble sitting still. I guess I’m still like a kid that way! I believe children can have this type of experience when given the chance to slow down and draw. Art is not just good for eye-hand coordination. It’s good for mind-heart coordination, too!

It will help the REST of us when THEY become the adults in charge!

If you believe in our mission, please support us! We need all the help we can get!



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Do you ever find yourself running out of ‘love juice’? When my kids were little, even if I started with a full pitcher of love in the morning, sometimes by the end of the day the pitcher would be dry.  

There was a pattern. When we were all tired and hungry, frustration could get the better of meDidn’t have dinner ready by 5 o’clock? It became ‘the witching hour’ and the kids would go bats – whine, cry or fight with each other – drive me crazy, which always got in the way of fixing dinner. It took all my self-control not to yell and to remember what’s really important. There were times I’d run to our bathroom, shut the door, take a deep breath, and cry out, “GOD! HELP ME get through this!” 

Beware of running on empty!

What I needed was a ‘refill’ – something for myself – so I’d have something to give those who were most important to me.

Change the pattern.

I began planning to have dinner ready each day before the kids went nuts. For me, a cup of coffee in the afternoon made all the difference, plus a reminder or two on the wall. 

I’ve made this special illustration to remind you to take care of yourself, so you can take care of those you love. You can download a high resolution pdf when you make a donation of any size.

Print it up and put it on the wall where you will see it every day. Let it help you, as it helped me, be inspired.

My warmest thanks,


Thank you!

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Director, EDU DESIGNS

P.S. When YOU are crying for,”HELP!”, these extra tips can really help! Read More…

P.P.S. – Love to donate but haven’t any to spare? If you shop online at Amazon, Amazon will donate to EDU DESIGNS every time you shop when you start from you nothing. When they ask you which non-profit to support, just type in EDU DESIGNS, (Sierra Madre, CA).

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. And Amazon donates, so it won’t cost you a dime

Support EDU DESIGNS by starting your shopping at!

Amazon gives when you shop!

EDU DESIGNS is an ALL VOLUNTEER Non-Profit. 100% of your donation goes toward sharing our materials, and NOT for salaries. You are guaranteed a Tax Deductible Receipt. 

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boy with ipad

Now that the digital world seems to be everywhere, the concern is, how much screen time is safe for kids? We are all affected by it, and especially young children and infants. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents, “…to avoid television viewing for children under the age of 2 years… research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant caregivers…for healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills.” 


More and more parents scramble to make ends meet, and kids are relegated to the TV or digital media instead of the human interaction needed to learn communication and coping skills to succeed in real life. Sadly, it’s been found that lower income families generally let their kids spend even more time with electronic devices than more affluent families.  

According to nationally renowned psychotherapist Tom Kersting, this carries serious implications. His article, “Too much digital time can lead to ADD” [1] reveals that there’s a big danger to our children’s future mental health. More and more of them are being diagnosed with disorders such as depression, anxiety and ADD, “…problems that stem from too much digital media use.” He continues, ” Nearly every mental, emotional and behavioral problem I treat now points to the same common denominator – electronic devices.” 


Maybe the BEST Thing to do is, TURN IT OFF!

It’s a minefield out there. Just as you wouldn’t let your child wander into an area with poisonous snakes while camping, you MUST be in charge of where they go on the internet. And there are things you CAN do to safeguard them. If you want the best for your child, you must be AWARE of what they are watching, CONTROL what they watch and LIMIT your child’s exposureHere’s a site with resources to keep children safe online

The child psychologist, Dr. Dobson said, “TV captures the imagination, but won’t let it go!”  

Research [2] has clearly shown that the more media is consumed, the less people experience happiness and – are less able to pay attention. 

In contrast, “Art STRENGTHENS the brain’s attention network”  [3] 

That’s because Art involves using the brain AND the body. Eye-hand coordination combined with imagination. EDU DESIGNS’ motto is, “Building Brains and Hearts Through the Arts”. We give parents, teachers and caregivers tools to engage kids with positive, hands-on activities that help boost their cognitive ability and emotional intelligence at the same time.


Get a copy of our artbook to give them something else to do instead!  Children get excited as they begin to use their hands and open their eyes to ‘See What They are Looking At!’

An all-volunteer non-profit since 2007, EDU DESIGNS shares parenting resources on GoMommyGO® that provide tools to relate with children and improve their behavior, too.


Incidentally – Do you love kids and have a little time to spare?

We need your assistance! 

We are in need of:

1- Fundraisers.

2- Money to print materials.

3- Artists to help with school visits.

4- Someone to call schools to introduce what we do.

5- A webmaster familiar with WordPress to update our site.

Thank you for your interest and support of media for children’s character development. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch with our founder, Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon.

Thank you!

EDU DESIGNS is a public-benefit nonprofit charity.

GoMommyGO® is the Registered Trademark of EDU DESIGNS



3 –



Have you seen my article about empathy?

I was happy to discover that THE EXPERTS AGREED WITH MY MOM!

Monkey See – Monkey DO!

Our family got our first TV when I was 6 years old. My mother instinctively felt it would be bad to let the kids sit in front of it for too long, so she limited us to one half hour of TV a day and we’d be allowed to watch The Mickey Mouse Club. I remember the feeling of being ‘sucked in’ by that magical box and being awfully disappointed when my mom turned it off by saying, “Go out and play.” But boy – am I’m glad she did, now!

Read the scientific findings on ‘mirroring in the brain’, here…

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Stories are a powerful way to get a message across. All the great teachers, Lao Tse, Plato, Jesus, Mohammed and countless others through the centuries used stories and parables to impart wisdom to people.

Everyone loves a good story! 

In one of Aesop’s Fables, the Wind and the Sun competed to see which of them was stronger.

The Challenge?

Who could get a traveller down on Earth to take off his coat!

The Wind tried first.

The wind blowing only makes the traveler hold tighter to his cloak.

But the harder the Wind blew, the tighter the man held on to his coat.

Then it was the Sun’s turn.

The Sun shining, makes the traveller remove his cloak.

The Sun simply shone down upon the man, who became so warm, he took it off all by himself.

The moral of the story, that persuasiveness is more effective than brute force, leads us to ask: What’s more persuasive than kindness? (As my mother used to say, “You get more flies with Honey than with Vinegar.”)

However, why bother telling a story at all?

Why not just get to the bottom line and tell everyone, “Be Nice”?

The answer is that people get yakked at constantly. And half the time they just filter it out.

But tell them a story? Nothing reaches a person’s heart faster than that.

Stories get us out of the here-and-now, and into another part of our brains, where we can engage our imaginations and see things from other angles.

We are better able to understand a concept when it is presented as a metaphor. And we are better able to remember it when it is given to us in an entertaining way.

That’s why we tell stories! 


When kids watch Ruth’s original fable, THE NIGHT PRINCESS, they get the  message that the way you treat someone, anyone, is the way you treat everyone.

Princess by a window looking at the moon...

‘The Night Princess’, an original fable by Ruth Elliott

As EDU DESIGNS goes to schools sharing our story and art presentations we inspire and motivate students to better character. 

And they are always hungry for more.

We need your help to continue this vital, not-for-profit work. 

Please give what you can.

Children need it!


Thank you!

We are an ALL VOLUNTEER Non-Profit. That means 100% of your donation goes to share our materials with Students, Parents, Teachers & Schools, and NOT for salaries.

You are guaranteed a Tax Deductible Receipt.




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You Can Make an “I CAN” Book!

Babies LOVE seeing pictures and reading books  – especially of themselves!  You can thrill your little one and encourage them with how they are growing by making an “I CAN DO” book!

When you make an “I CAN DO” Book, it can help build a positive self image in your child, creating an identity based on experiences of accomplishment that give confidence they can succeed in life.


Simply fold a few pieces of paper in half and staple them together to make a blank book. Write their name with a photo of your child on the front. On each page place a picture of one thing he has learned to do (or a picture that represents it) and write “I can (what it is”) Begin with the simplest things first. If you are good at taking photos, you can use photos of your child doing the activity. As he learns new things, add them to the book one by one.


Each time that you add another picture, show it to him, and as it gets bigger he will see he is growing – and writing his own book of accomplishments, too!

Besides being a great teaching tool, it will be a memory book you will treasure forever!

Here are some examples:
Smile, crawl, sit up, 
hold a spoon, hold a bottle, hold a cup, feed themself, wipe up high-tray, wipe face, walk, run, put on own shirt, pants, socks, throw a ball, catch a ball, draw a picture, pet the cat or dog nicely, pick up trash and put in the trashcan, comb hair, brush teeth, help sort socks, pick up toys, drink without spilling, wiping up spills on table or floor, water plants, wash hands, take bath, get into bed, carry dish to the table, or back to the kitchen, play with his toys nicely, build something, play with blocks, play-doh, blow bubbles etc.

You can think of lots more as your little one advances to being able to do things like tying shoes, sweeping, making beds, etc.

Help kids find a Positive Self Image

Making an ‘I CAN DO’ book inspires a child with a sense of identity based on a history of good experiences and success at accomplishing goals.

As they get older, you can continue by reinforcing their good behaviors with charts. When they feel a satisfaction from being good, they are more likely to want to continue. 

Our mission is inspiring kids to develop good character!

It feels great whenever we hear “Thank You”!

Let us know if this has helped you.

Please give if you can!

Thank you!

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Director, EDU DESIGNS

PS – Larger Resolution Files of the Positive Behaviors Images are available at this page – Enjoy!


Edu Designs makes careful use of your support! We don’t use a single cent of your gifts for salaries – 100% goes to programs to help children.

You are guaranteed a Tax Deductible Receipt. 


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‘SMILE’ first – and AMAZON gives!

colorful hands reaching up to

Shop at – Choose EDU DESIGNS and Amazon will donate to our charity!

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Do you already shop online at Amazon? When you ‘smile’ first, they will donate to our Non Profit if you do – and it won’t cost you a penny more!

Just go to, and choose Edu Designs as the Non Profit you wish to support. Amazon will do the rest. You shop. They give.

Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile ( at the same price.

Just remember to begin at every time you shop. It’s a simple way to help us bring the arts and character to children.

It will put a smile on your face, too!

THANKS for shopping at!


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Words and images are powerful things. A picture once seen, can’t be ‘unseen’. A word cannot be ‘unheard’. It becomes part of your ‘thoughtlife’. 

There were times people said bad words around my kids, and just like the story of Pandora’s box – once they came out, there was no putting them back. My children would also start saying them.

Do you ever worry that your kids are being influenced in a bad way

We all struggle with how others affect us. The good news is that there are things you can do about it.

1- Talk with your kids

Just because another person is doing something, it doesn’t mean you have to do it, too. We CANNOT control other people’s character, but we DO have a choice to control our own.

2- Expose them to positive messages to counter the bad ones

I had a wise mom. She would pepper her conversations with thoughtful sayings, like“Love Conquers All.” and “It is better to give than to receive.”

Those words rolled around in my head for a long time. They made me want to have a pure heart, and not hate anyone.

3- Be a good example yourself

Another thing my mom told me was: The effect you have on others is like the back of your head – you can never fully see it.

Ultimately, we are the only ones who can be in charge of us. And more than anything else, children need Good Examples to look up to. What we need to do is remember to be one.


I put inspiring quotes on the bathroom wall to remind my kids (and me) to think first – to watch our words and actions when we wanted to say or do something less than helpful.

The wonderful thing about the ‘bathroom wall’ technique; there were at least a few times a day where the kids were captive to the positive messages. 

As a Top Rated Non-Profit, we are always thinking of ways to help.

This month we have a special poster you can print out and hang on the wall to inspire your kids (and you). 

Everyone who gives a donation of any size from the donation button at the bottom of the page will get a high resolution file of the poster below to download!

Please – give if you can.

Thank you!

Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, Director, EDU DESIGNS


We are an ALL VOLUNTEER Non-Profit. 100% of your donation goes toward sharing our materials, and NOT salaries. You are guaranteed a Tax Deductible Receipt. PLEASE GIVE!

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