Schools out and that means many families will be hitting the road for summer road trips. A Michigan woman is hoping to put some old fashioned fun back in the road.
Like so many of us, Michele Maltese has memories of family road trips. As a typical Michigander, she holds up her hand and points to different parts of the state when she talks about where she's been. That inspired her to come up with a product called Michigan Mitt Maps; plastic hand mitts in the shape of Michigan, put the two mitts together and you have the upper and lower peninsulas.
Michigan Mitt Maps are a fun way to learn more about our state, while creating a family travel keepsake. You can draw your route on your mitt using a pen, pencil or crayon to show where you have been and what you have seen. It also comes with an activity book with over 60 pages of activities, facts, and coupons for the whole family and two pages of reusable decals. Kids can use those decals to mark where they've been on their mitt. There’s information and a little bit of history about everything from our Great Lakes, Michigan lighthouses, the Mackinac Bridge, Pictured Rocks, and more. There is a sites section that includes the “world’s largest tire” in Allen Park and the giant boxing arm of Joe Louis in Downtown Detroit.
“So this is something that hopefully they’re going to put their cell phone down and use it for the games that are in book as well as their own imagination to create their road trip on the map and highlight the things they saw and did in Michigan,” says Michele.
She explains that Michigan Mitt Maps are not only for children “Parents, they need that refresher and they’re like ‘oh yeah, I forgot’ so it’s appealing to kids, but adults really like it as much as the kids.”
Michele will have book signing events where you can purchase a mitt at Westborn Market on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Dearborn, Saturday June 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Berkley, and on June 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Livonia. She will also be at Barnes and Nobel on June 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Allen Park.