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How to Have a Low-Key Camp Mom Summer

Photo by: iStock

School’s out for S U M M E R!

Does that fill you with excitement or dread? A little bit of both? For so many of us moms, we are thrilled that the school year is over (No more homework! The end of bake sales! Goodbye rushed morning drop offs!) but a little bit nervous that we have so much unscheduled time ahead of us. Even worse? Thanks to social media, we feel like we have to keep up with the Joneses and go on a different amazing adventure each and every day.
So this year, I have decided that I am going to TAKE BACK SUMMER. Yes, that’s right, I’m taking it back. Yes, we will go on some fun and unique adventures (I mean, that is what I’m known for, after all), but we are also going to slow down and savor the 100 or so days of summer we get in Chicago. I purposefully “under-scheduled” our summer and instead of spending time at the park district, we are doing a whole entire type of camp. CAMP MOM. And it’s going to be awesome.

CAMP MOM is great. We do things on our schedule and based simply on what we feel like doing that day. All you need is a stockpile of sunscreen, snacks, comfortable shoes and a healthy sense of adventure. Or lack of it. Because I mean, who doesn’t love spending a rainy day having a movie marathon?

This past week my boys and I came up with a list of practical and fun things we want to do this summer so we have a starting point for our CAMP MOM itinerary. Need some inspiration for your CAMP MOM to-do’s? Here you go!

Go berry picking.

Fly a kite.

Make popsicles.

Splash in the sprinkler.

Have a picnic.

Watch a baseball game.

Have a water balloon fight.

Go fishing.

Play at the beach.

Watch a movie at the drive in.

Make and eat s’mores.

Grow a garden.

Drink water from a hose.

Go on a park crawl.

Have a camp out.

Jump into a pool.

Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog ( to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram,

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