Recs and Reads
By Anne McKay Garris
I don't know what they sing these days, but I remember the boys (of course not the girls) singing, "School's out, school's out. No more studies, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks."
I often wondered what the teachers were singing as we left the building that last day. After having my own children, I know what the mothers are thinking. "Oh, goodness, they're mine for the summer. How will I entertain them?"
Some of the answers to that question can be found at our Clearwater Beach Library. In just a glance around I found a little book entitled Shells, Crafting On The Go, with lots of suggestions for shell crafts, using the shells you find right here on our own beach. This little book is complete with sources for the supplies they recommend, bright colored illustrations and detailed instructions. The suggested craft items are not suitable for very young children, but they provide ideas that can be modified for the younger set. Best part of this is that the majority of the supplies, the shells, are free and very healthy for you and the youngsters to collect.
In fact, show me a beach home with children and I'll show you there are shells already there somewhere.
Another book that can spark your summer adventures is a Backroads of Florida, Your guide To Great Day Trips & Weekend Getaway" by Paul M. Franklin and Nancy Mikula. This book is worth bring home for the library for the pictures alone and, for some of us old timers it provides an opportunity to have a "remember when we went there" session.
And, if you haven't already done so, do check out the charming children's corner at the library, complete with stuffed animals. low seats and lots and lots of charming children's books and DVDs.
For a special treat, bring along a picnic lunch and enjoy the picnic tables beside the water at the Library. You might even add a fishing pole and bait so your youngster can "wet a line" from the sea wall.
And, of course, the recreation center hosts that wonderful swimming pool with all the charming pool accessories, not the least of which are the comfortable chairs beneath the umbrellas so you can sit in the shade while your offspring splash in the shallow end.
There may be better places than Clearwater Beach for youngsters to spend their summers but, after raising children and hosting grandchildren here, I don't believe it can be beat. And that's without mentioning the tennis lessons and the sailing center on Sand Key -- not to mention the fascinating creatures of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for extras.
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