STK-  father teaching letter to her daughter at home

Learning at home is one way to keep up with school work and pass the time while everyone is encouraged to practice safe social distancing.

Utah County is a great place for family fun, but this week, most events around the area have been canceled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. While there may not be fun community events for families, there is still plenty of fun to have no matter where you live in the county.

These fun ideas will help break the routine for your family and still allow you to practice safe social distancing.

Here are five fun activities that are perfect for the whole family this week:

Create a schedule

It may be tempting to let your kids have lots of extra screen time the next few weeks, especially if you are working from home. But one way to prevent a loss of sanity from both you and them is to make an easy-to-follow schedule.

Schedules will need to adjust to the needs of your family, but some items can include learning time, creative time, outdoor playtime, reading time and free time. It may not keep them to the minimum recommended amount of screen time, but it definitely will help.

Go on a walk or a hike

Walking or hiking outdoors is a way that you can get out of the house, while still maintaining social distance from others. Whether it’s a trip into the mountains or a trip around the neighborhood, a change in scenery can be good for the whole family.

Some great local spots for hiking are Battle Creek Falls, the Y Trail, Stewart Falls or Bridal Veil Falls, just make sure to keep a safe distance from other hikers.

Keep up with learning

Several websites are offering free access to online courses and tools as schools are closed down for the next several weeks.

One of those is Scholastic, which is offering free access to day-to-day courses for elementary-age kids. The website offers new web content each day, including a video, book and activity.

Scholastic’s website says, “Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys.”

PBS is also offering daily activity ideas via email that will help kids learn and play at home. You can sign up for the email at http://public.pbs.org/PBSKIDSDaily.

Do a drive-in movie

Some movie theaters are closing and others are limiting the number of people allowed in, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to watch your favorite films.

If your kids are young, and you have boxes left over from that most recent Amazon order, let them decorate their box as a car and sit in it while you have a family movie night. Stream your favorite movie from Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ and make a socially safe fun night.

If you are older or have older kids, maybe it’s time to try watching all of the films that have won best picture Oscars.

Find a way to bring joy to others

While it may be hard to reach out in kindness to others around you, find ways to bring a little joy into the lives of others while you have free time.

Write a letter to a loved one or someone who is lonely. Interview grandparents (via phone or videoconferencing) to learn more about their lives. Order a treat to be delivered to a friend — the possibilities are there!