Hi, I'm Alice....a mum-of-two, maritime engineer, taxi driver, renovator, cleaner, maid, art teacher and household event’s organiser. When I'm not inhaling coffee, you will usually find me running after a semi-clothed child, scraping food scraps from the floor and generally trying to keep two mini-me’s alive.
Pre-children, I studied Engineering and Commerce at the University of Melbourne, enjoyed playing netball, fitting into nice clothes, having a civilised dinner and being able to have deep, interesting adult conversations with, well, adults. I now enjoy going to the toilet by myself.
With the birth of my second child three years ago, a yard that was unusable and an energetic and ‘outdoorsy’ toddler to take care of, I struggled with finding activities that not only kept him busy around the home, but encouraged him to play independently, provided educational development and maintained his attention span for longer than the time it takes to change a newborns nappy.
Whilst never holding any ambition to become an author, I quickly became frustrated with the lack of books that encouraged play at home without too much focus on crafts (oh, the mess), huge setup times or a large investment in materials.
So, sick of the Mumma’s guilt that goes with not being able to sit in a park all day and even more sick of a cluttered house, full of large, cheap, noisy toys that were never played with, I sought about writing the book myself. Sometimes, if you want something done, you must take matters into your own hands!
What ensued was two years of researching and testing a range of fun, educational and easy play activities that could be done with household items.
It is my hope that it can help make every parent, guardian, grandparent’s and carer’s role just that little bit easier.
Our Brand Story
Jack and Lu’s was created with a simple dream of bringing back real childhood; where the toys were simpler, the items were fewer and the imaginations were greater.
Jack and Lu are my grandparents. As children, we spent our summers at their farm "Wongabeena" (meaning 'Our Home' in Aboriginal language) in East Gippsland, Victoria. We spent these summers playing with whatever we could find, indoors and out, bushwalking, rounding up the cows and using our creativity.
After having children, I became increasingly frustrated with a cluttered house full of cheap, large and largely unused toys that did not provide my children with independent and flexible play.
With the essence of innocent childhood imagination and the times of ‘simpler’ toys and play in mind, I set about establishing a range of children’s products with the following criteria:
- They must must must be able to encourage BIG play, whilst not requiring BIG space. Wherever possible, they should team with everyday items that we already have
- They encourage the development of gross motor skills and learning and development
- They prompt imaginative play without being too prescriptive in the nature of the play. Ie. They let young imaginations run wild
- They provide for long lasting play
And so… the brand Jack and Lu’s was born…
Our products have started with a much-needed resource book, Real Kids, Real Play. Over the coming months, we will be increasing our store with more products and resources that encourage big, simple play and bring back the essence of childhood.
We hope Jack and Lu’s becomes as much a part of your little person's childhood as it did ours.