Embrace the challenge Children bring – and you will gain skills you need in every part of life!
KIDS TEACH YOU
— 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.
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.
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?
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. Donate to EDU DESIGNS
Can Comics teach character? Of course they can! It’s all about the STORY!
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.
WHAT DO SUPERHERO COMICS TEACH US?
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.
COMIC CONVENTIONS PROVIDE FELLOWSHIP FOR ‘BELIEVERS IN IMAGINATION’
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’a place to join in kinship with others to affirm the value of imagination in concrete form.
EDU DESIGNS is working to spur thecharacter and imagination of children through our media and teaching tools.
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!
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.
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.
HOW DID SHE DO IT?
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 watching. The Community Foundationgladly 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.
IS IT FOR THE BIRDS? ABSOLUTELY!
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.
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!
DREAMS PLUS ACTION MAKE IT HAPPEN
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!
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#f5fadd” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]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.”[/dropshadowbox]
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.”
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!
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:
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. www.edudesigns.org
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,includingBusiness and Industry, Medical, Veterinary schools,the Navy, andthe 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?”
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.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
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.Keepchannels 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!
INFANTS BENEFIT FROM READING!
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 lifeat 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.”
SEEDS TAKE TIME TO GROW
Progress, however slow, is still progress.
Develop Good Habits, including patience with yourself, and the time it takes to develop into your best self.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF HARD WORK
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.
LITTLE ONES NEED ‘WATERING’ TO GROW
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!
I love the line in a song my husband wrote, “Things take time to happen overnight.”
When dealing with kids, we mustespecially hold on our vision of the future – and their inherent value 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.
Educate kids WHILE THERE IS STILL HOPE
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
What happens to those who fall through the cracks because someone gave up on them, or perhaps they gave up on themselves?
Research reveals that people who land in prison have had less education.
This chart illustrates that it costs more to imprison someone for 4 years than it does to provide 13 years of education! The investment of education is much more cost effective, since there is a better chance of the students becoming an asset to the world, and not a liability.
Regardless of the past, WE are here, NOW!
Hold on to the vision of what is possible from the seeds we are planting today – and don’t let go. It’s a lot of work, but worth every life that is impacted.
My mom would 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 happening!
One of my greatest joys is talking with new moms, admiring their little ones and sharing my GoMommyGO charts and cards 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 efforts piled up might add up to 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.
Like my mom said – “Our effect on others is like the back of our head…We can’t really see it.”
Seeing kids constantly glued to electronic devices?
Wishing they’d use their imagination, or worry they won’t develop real life skills?
Then you’ve come to the right place! Take advantage of the resources we have available!
Someday they will thank you for turning off the ‘TV’ and allowing them develop problem solving skills, too.
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 draw. And slow down! Art is not just good for eye-hand coordination. It’s good for mind-heart coordination, too! The positive benefits will help the REST of us when the KIDS today become the ADULTS in charge.
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.
Plus, I feel so strongly about helping kids, I put everything I learned in over 30 years in my Art Textbook, so it won’t take YOU 30 years to learn!
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 me. Didn’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’drun 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.
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 smile.amazon.com. Costs 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!
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.”
TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME?
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 reallife. 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”  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.”
WHAT’S A PARENT TO DO?
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 andLIMIT your child’s exposure. Here’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  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”
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.
I was happy to discover that THE EXPERTS AGREED WITH MY MOM!
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!
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.
Who could get a traveller down on Earth to take off his coat!
The Wind tried first.
But the harder the Wind blew, the tighter the man held on to his coat.
Then it was the Sun’s turn.
The Sunsimply 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 engageour imaginations and see things from other angles.
We are better able to understanda 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!
EDU DESIGNS CREATES MEDIA for GOOD CHARACTER!
When kids watch Ruth’s original fable, THE NIGHT PRINCESS, they get the messagethat the way you treat someone, anyone, is the way you treat everyone.
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!
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.
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! Science has clearly shown that the brain of a toddler is faster than ours, so we need to keep them busy learning good things!
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.
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT
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 doand write“I can (“do this”). 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.
READ IT TO THEM!
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!
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.
When I was a kid, the story of Cinderella gave me hope. I identified with her. My two older sisters were sometimes mean. They bossed me around and made me work harder than they did. I felt trodden upon. But when I’d remember what Cinderella went through it encouraged me to take heart and not become bitter. Her story gave me hope that persevering in goodness would benefit me in the long run. And it did.
IT WAS JUST A STORY – WHY DID IT WORK?
We are all Children at Heart . . .
Our brains are better able to understand and recall a concept if it is learned in an emotional setting. A story does this. It creates one. Read more on the impact of stories here.
But we must hurry! Kids are growing up every day, in need of what we offer.
Years ago, my young son came home one day and said, “The reason I went to school wasn’t there today!”
“Why? What happened?”, I asked.
“They took art class out of my day.”
To this day, many districts are still sadly lacking in art. They cut back on their budgets, Art and Music are always the first to go. What we offer schools is a free initial presentation valued at $1,200 (in the educational workplace).
It’s exciting to see what happens when the students begin drawing. They start to discover ways to ‘see what they are looking at’ in a new way! (That’s the title of my Art Book for kids! At the bottom of this page is a link to get your own copy to download and share with someone you love.)
Not only does it give them something to want to go to school for, but it motivates them to love learning and develop good character.
We need your help to continue this vital work!
It’s more important now than ever.
Children are the future.
Can you help?
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!
When it’s getting cold outside and you struggle to answer the question, “What are we going to do today?”, keep reading and say goodbye to boredom with these activities! We offer a few ideas on ways you can utilize technology to tank tedium and give your kids an opportunity to learn something new.
Your kids should learn to play at least one instrument. Whether they become good at it or not, there are numerous benefits from listening to and playing music. Children involved in music from a young age develop parts of their brain that would otherwise remain undeveloped. Studies show that music can improve behavior, too.
If they want to play the trumpet for instance, this 3,000-year-old wind-powered instrument inspires movement along with music to burn more than 100 calories an hour! (If buying your first brass wind, make sure to purchase necessary accessories and compare prices online. Student trumpets are typically less expensive than professional versions and will do the job of allowing your student to learn without a huge investment. Check out this trumpet buying guide from for more information and a description of the most common variations).
YouTube, Udemy, andArtistWorks.com are great resources forlessons in all instruments and experience levels.
Another thing your kids need is a healthy dose of exercise each and every day. Adults are supposed to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity three to four days each week. The best way to ensure your kids do as well, is to get them in the habit now. A quick Google search will bring up tons of children’s fitness videos that cater to a wide range of interests and abilities. You can all find fun ways to get moving through everything from interpretive dance to more traditional exercises, such as cardiovascular workouts and using resistance bands.
On days when getting off the couch isn’t an option, you can keep mental fitness at the forefront of their growing minds with online activities provided by LearningGamesForKids.com
One of the coolest things about art is that it’s not exclusive to a single culture. People in every corner of the globe create art in some shape or form. The ancient Egyptians had their stone statues, the Romans their mosaic tiles, and the cavemen had pigments made of crushed berries and stone wall canvases. Art is a universal expression of emotion and, like music, has a positive effect on developing brains and bodies. Drawing, painting, and even sculpting encourages neural connections and develops fine motor skills in young artists. No matter what your children want to learn, there is a tutorial online that will help them master the medium of their choosing. If you’re not sure where to start, check out free Artyfactory lessons on topics ranging from pencil portraits to African mask making. You may also download Ruth Elliott’s Art Book for free, here.
Art, music, and physical fitness can be combined with other subjects for a double dose of education. The possibilities are endless. For instance, you can incorporate art history with a drawing lesson, discuss the science behind how sound is made, or research ceremonial dances from ancient tribes.
Whether your kids want to channel their inner Beethoven, learn some new dance moves, or paint a Picasso, you’ll find everything you need to say goodbye to boredom on the same device you’re reading now. You and your kids can use the net to become engaged, entertained, educated in the arts and find new and interesting ways to get physically fit.
Why Cycling Is One of the Best Exercises for Children
The ultimate wish a parent has for their child is for them to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Teaching children cycling is an invaluable and empowering skill that can help them do just that. Not only is it great for the body, it can also give children an instant mood boost and increased self-esteem.
Cycling improves physical fitness
Cycling is a great cardio-vascular workout that’s also low-impact — meaning it protects children’s developing joints. Most obviously, regular cycling can help control weight and curb childhood obesity, a serious issue on the rise due to sedentary lifestyles.
There are also many other physical benefits children can get from learning to cycle. It increases muscle mass and stamina, as well as ensures a healthy heart and lungs. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine even found that cycling increased the longevity of cyclists in the Tour de France — by a whopping 17 percent!
Cycling is safe
Some parents may be concerned about the risks of cycling, but with the right preparation and precautions, it can be entirely safe. In fact, a study conducted by the British Medical Journal found that the numerous health benefits of cycling vastly outweigh the risks.
Make sure your bike rides are safe and enjoyable by choosing the right bike and wearing weather-appropriate clothing along with a well-fitting helmet. Bring water, snacks, sunglasses, a bike pump, and emergency tool kit, too (you can even teach your child important life skills, such as, how to fix a flat tire or tighten a loose chain, once they’re old enough). The all-round better you make your child’s experience of cycling, the more eager they’ll be to do it again.
Cycling is fun
Cycling is one of those rare physical activities that doesn’t feel like exercise — it’s just fun. Kids love the sense of freedom and independence cycling gives them. They’ll also get hours of enjoyment from being out and about, exploring their local area, and discovering new and interesting sights and locations. Cycling is truly a great way to encourage and foster their adventurous spirit.
Lastly, cycling is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to bond — and much better than simply zonking out in front of the TV. Family bike rides will give you time to talk and laugh together, which elevates everyone’s mood, as well as make positive memories you’ll all treasure for life!