Featured Local Business

Most Read: Parent Tips

Building Our World: Women Ar…

Meet local women who are paving the way to careers in archit... Read more

A Salute to Special Olympics

Last December Cierra Winn swept her long chestnut hair over ... Read more

Growing Up Gardening

Finding time to play outside is a challenge for today’s chil... Read more

Changing for the Better

Early on a recent Sunday morning near Kids’ Cove at Mount Tr... Read more

Doulas on Duty

You’re a few months along in your pregnancy and beginning to... Read more

Getting Better with Art

The inpatient playroom at the Children’s Hospital of the Kin... Read more

Cheers to Volunteers

Learn how volunteering helps the community and adds meaning ... Read more

My Mentor, My Friend

Kids need adult role models to look up to and trust. Parents... Read more

Set Sail with Sea Scouts

Something exciting is happening in Tidewater. Here, where th... Read more

A Heart for Kids

After a successful battle with cervical cancer, Tracy LaGatt... Read more

Connecting with Horses

In this more-than-one-horse town, kids and adults take pleas... Read more

Kiddies & Kitties

There is nothing so heartwarming as when a family visits an ... Read more

Growing with Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a sport of strength, dexterity, and grace, a s... Read more

Parenting with No Regrets

My son just turned 18, so he is no longer legally a child. I... Read more

Explore the World with NATO

When NATO Festival organizers realized Luxembourg would be t... Read more

A Gift of Life

At the age of five, Shutong Hao (“Tong Tong”) had already un... Read more

Learning from WHRO

When my oldest was six, he came to me with a cape and a pict... Read more

Sea and Sky

Dear Friends, I was lucky to grow up on the shores of Sandb... Read more

Eating on a Budget

Get the most for your food budget! There are many ways to sa... Read more

Tips for Kids Dining Out

Going out to eat with your children should be a relaxing and... Read more

2022 Sep

Happy Splashing

I recently read an article about the therapeutic effects of water. Science has proven that—whether you’re taking a dip, listening to the sound of a fountain or a babbling brook, or simply being near the shore of a lake, bay, or ocean—water helps reduce stress. The article noted that even having paintings and photographs of water in your home or office can create a sense of serenity.

As I write this column, I’m looking out my window at ocean waves breaking on the beach. Peter and I are condo-sitting for friends who are out of town, and I am relishing the opportunity to be by the ocean.

I grew up in Sandbridge when it was a small, isolated community and spent as much time as I could on the beach throughout the four seasons. Even in the windswept winter months, I loved walking on the beach and felt that the wind helped carry my cares away. Hearing the waves and watching them crash on the shore in a cosmic rhythm soothed me. To this day when I need to calm down, I listen to a soundtrack of waves, and I feel a sense of peace take over.

As summer winds down and temperatures drop a bit, it’s the perfect time to plan water-based activities for your family. There are so many ways to enjoy the water in Coastal Virginia. Here are a few:

  • Spend a day at the beach. Bring an umbrella, comfy chairs, and sunscreen since the sun can still burn in late summer. Pack a cooler with cold drinks and sandwiches. Don’t forget to bring a ball or Frisbee to toss. Jump in the waves with your kids and savor the smell of sea air and sounds of seagulls calling and waves breaking. Snuggle with your kids and nap in the shade of your umbrella. Leave your phones at home.
  • Rent a kayak or a SUP from a local outfitter and explore our local waterways. Paddling quietly in a peaceful cove reminds us of how much we need to escape into nature. As you glide through the water, you’ll feel your endorphins rise and your stress levels melt away.
  • Grab a body board or surfboard and feel the rush of energy when you catch a wave and ride it to shore. Being immersed in water—whether floating, swimming, or surfing—puts your body into a “flow” state where you lose track of time and tune into the moment. It’s pure pleasure.
  • Go fishing with your kids. You can find a quiet spot by a pond or lake, set up your chairs, and cast your lines. If the fish aren’t biting, be patient. With nothing to distract you, it’s a great time to talk to your child about everything and nothing. Before you know it, you’ll feel a tug on your line and maybe reel in a prize catch you can cook up for dinner.
  • Play in a summer downpour if thunder and lightning aren’t a threat. Put on your bathing suits, grab a squirt gun or some water balloons, and get soaking wet. Stop and listen to the rain and watch how it makes the plants and flowers and trees in your yard come alive. Smell the fresh negative ions in the air.

I hope you take the time to enjoy some water this month—even if it’s taking a bath in the privacy of your home. Add some bubbles and escape from the world for a while. You won’t believe how something so simple will make you feel renewed and refreshed. We all need to charge our batteries now and then—even our kids. Take advantage of our waterways and enjoy some quality time with your family before the cool winds of autumn start to blow.

Happy splashing!

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

Enter to Win a 2-Night Getaway Package at KOA Virginia Beach Holiday

Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to win a free 2-night Deluxe Cabin stay, Adventureworks Zipline park tickets, plus a Campfire & S'mores bundle for you...

Free to Enter!