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7 Family Activities to Make the Most of Your Summer — Inspired By Disney-Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’

In partnership with Target. Babble and Disney•Pixar are owned by The Walt Disney Company.

Summer is my absolute favorite season. The long days and fabulous weather means it’s so much easier to have fun with my family of seven. Without the daily routine of homework and busy schedules, we’re able to really focus on each other and come up with fun, creative things to do together.

We’ve always been big moviegoers and this summer it’s all about Cars 3. My kids were ecstatic about the release of the film, so I came up with some fun, “turbo-filled” activities for us to do in celebration. Luckily, Target has incredible Cars 3 products — from toys to bedding, and even dish sets — to help me do just that.

Create your own racetrack

cars 3 racetrack
Image source: Audrey McClelland

There’s always something extra fun about DIY projects. One activity we love doing as a family is creating chalk masterpieces in our driveway. It’s cool to see what the kids come up with. They love to draw, write letters, create games, and even trace each other.

This time around, we were inspired by Cars 3 to create our very own racetrack. The Disney•Pixar Cars 3 Desert Race Die-Cast pack from Target really got the wheels turning in my head. This ultra-cool 11-pack includes key character vehicles from the Arizona Speedway scenes. Each one has its own signature style, too.

cars 3 racetrack
Image source: Audrey McClelland

By simply creating a racetrack in chalk, we were able to recreate the desert race and come up with new ones of our own. You can only imagine how much fun my four sons and daughter had — it was so sweet to watch!

Go for a family ride (in style!)

Cars 3 scooter
Image source: Audrey McClelland

Make like Cruze and motivate your family to get some exercise on a bike or scooter ride. Not only is it such a great way to enjoy the warm weather, it’s fun to explore new paths enjoy the outdoors.

My son Henry loves to pretend he’s racing on the Cars 3 14″ bike from Huffy. As you can see, the Cars frame features Lightening McQueen’s signature red — and there’s even a cool matching helmet. (Which my daughter Victoria has completely claimed as her own.)

If a bike isn’t your kid’s speed (pun intended), Target also has a Disney•Pixar Cars Bubble Fun 3-wheel scooter. This is the ultimate racing “machine” for my kids, because bubbles actually follow the scooter as it rides! And if you’re out for a ride at night, the Cars 6″ scooter has a deck that lights up to illuminate the path in front of them.

Camp out in the backyard

cars 3 tent
Image source: Audrey McClelland

One of the coolest things for a family to do together over the summer is camp in the backyard. We’ve been doing this for years and it’s something that always excites my kids. Even though our house is just a few yards away, it’s still fun to be outside in a tent beneath the stars. We bring our flashlights and make a bonfire, tell stories, and sing songs.

As you can tell, I’m big into showing my kids the importance of family time. But that doesn’t mean we have to travel to exotic places when there are so many unique experiences and adventures to be had in our own backyard.

This summer, we grabbed all of our Cars 3 blankets, bedspreads, and pillows and headed outside for a night we’ll be talking about for years – or you know, until we do it all again next month.

Indulge in the ultimate ice cream party

ice cream party
Image source: Audrey McClelland

We always have dinner together — it’s my #1 rule in our house. I love to gather and hear about everyone’s day.

In the summer, we amp it up with an ice cream sundae party afterwards. (After all, you can’t have summer without ice cream — and lots of it!) The creations my kids come up with are amazing. I don’t even put restrictions on how much hot fudge and whipped cream they can use.

To add some extra fun to our party, we always have a theme. This year, it was Cars 3. I stocked up on everything we would need — Cars 3 plates, cups, and bowls — at Target, and it really helped bring the party to life. Not to mention, they’re perfect to keep on hand for future summer cookouts, breakfast, and snack time.

Build forts on rainy days

cars 3 blanket fort
Image source: Audrey McClelland

Whenever it rained on a summer day when I was a child, my sister and I would create massive forts in our living room. We would take couch cushions, blankets, and sheets and create a cozy space we could hang out in all day long.

Years later, my kids love doing the exact same thing. I love that this activity shows my kids the importance of teamwork, as we all work together to build our fort. You really can accomplish something incredible when you all have the same end goal.

The best part of creating a fort is enjoying your fort! That’s when you get to kick back and admire your hard work. The kids love to take their Cars 3 plush pillows and blankets and make a “den” inside for them to read in, watch movies, or enjoy snacks.

Later this summer, our family will be moving to a new neighborhood. I hope they take the lessons learned from Cars 3 — to befriend the “new guy” and always be kind to others — and forge new friendships. If they’re in need of an icebreaker, any of these activities will be sure to bring them all together.

Watch a movie beneath the stars

cars 3 movie night
Image source: Audrey McClelland

Remember heading to the drive-in as a kid? Well, you can recreate the magic at home! Bring the family outside and have a movie night beneath the stars. With so many easy ways to project movies nowadays, it’s one of our favorite summer activities. I love being together outside, noshing on yummy snacks and watching our favorite films. We always grab pillows and blankets and set up a comfy area to sit back and enjoy.

Cars 3 is all about inspiring people to come together to achieve their goals and this activity does just that. The way we all work together to create a beautiful space outside is a fantastic way to bond with each other. And just like the film inspires us to be good to our friends, we are always sure to invite special guests to share the fun with — the more, the merrier!

Set up a family scavenger hunt

scavenger hunt
Image source: Audrey McClelland

If you’ve never done a family scavenger hunt, now’s the time! For as long as I can remember, we’ve been doing scavenger hunts with the boys, and now our daughter is old enough to enjoy them, too.

Don’t worry, they’re super easy to do. First, make a list of things for your kids to find. They can be things like a house with the number 3, a red car in a driveway, yellow flowers, or a rock shaped like a circle. (Just think of things that can easily be found as you explore your neighborhood with your kids.)

If you want to be more ambitious, add a theme like Cars 3 to your scavenger hunt and pick out items that relate to that theme. You can even wear Cars 3 clothes and accessories and “race” to find the items!

The best thing about family scavenger hunts is the mentality to keep trying. The “never give up” message from Cars 3 is so important for kids to remember. In the film, quitting is not an option. Keep going – keep moving – keep racing!

(And most of all, have fun.)

Cruise into Target for all your Cars 3 gear!

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