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Jean McNamara and her kids

Mama Smartz was founded in 2017 by Jean McNamara - who is also the creator of Hands On Magnets. Jean is a Mum of three little boys, which is what led to her to develop the idea for Hands On Magnets. Here's why...

How did you come up with the idea for Hands On Magnets? 

"I have three little boys. Every day is a battle to keep them from injuring themselves and each other. Getting them in and out of the car was a total pain. I was using all my limbs to keep them from bolting as I took each one out of the car. After one particularly close shave with a reversing car in a car park, I just thought there had to be a better way. And Hands On Magnets was born". 

How did you know Hands On Magnets would work? 

"When I started to develop the idea for Hands On Magnets, I began to do research into why kids seemed to often have so little awareness around moving cars. They'd bolt out in front of them, wander across reversing cars, often apparently not even seeing the cars. 

I discovered two things: (1) Young children cannot accurately see, or judge, the speed of moving vehicles (especially those going over 20mph) and (2) children are effected by Inattention Blindness - which means that children sometimes don't actually see what is in front of them, if they are focused on something else.

These two factors - combined with the fact that children are so often distracted, giddy or in some kind of heightened mood when it is time to take them out of the car - made it clear that parents needed a visual tool to keep kids' attention, and help them to focus on staying still and in a safe place. 

Hands On Magnets act as this simple visual tool - that children get into the habit of focusing on - so are less distracted by everything else going on around them". 

Were you always involved in safety? 

"Far from it. I was a Management Consultant in a large consulting firm for over ten years before starting Mama Smartz. I left after I had my third child in 2015 - and was at home with the kids. I was never particularly safety conscious...until I had kids...and they were all boys. They quite literally seek out danger like some kind of deranged super heroes. So staying one step ahead of them has become my job, in every sense". 

What's next for Mama Smartz? 

"Hands On Magnets is just the first product from Mama Smartz. There are several new safety products in the pipeline - all inspired by various scrapes my boys get themselves into. Thanks boys (I think)". 


Jean McNamara
Jean McNamara
Founder of Mama Smartz