By Family Flavours

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Here, we bring you trust-worthy parenting advice to contribute to your child’s physical, mental and social wellbeing. 

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Horseback riding

With most camps cancelled and limited offerings this summer, horseback riding lessons are a great way for your child to unplug and be outdoors. Plus, handling, riding and caring for a horse or pony can develop a host of positive traits in a child, including responsibility, accountability, patience, empathy, kindness and self-discipline. Here are some of the well-known horseback riding venues in (or near) town:

 
Saifi Stables’ Pony Club for children of all ages meets from 9am-12pm four days a week for horseback riding, stable management lectures as well as arts and crafts. Saifi Stables has a cafeteria, fully facilitated services and indoor and outdoor seating areas where riders and families can host private events

 
Alia ‘Assaf Academy’s internationally educated instructors offer horseback lessons from five years of age and up. More than 60 nationalities participate in its horseback riding programmes. You can sign up for lessons without committing to a fixed schedule

 
Arabian Horse Club (Nadi Al Jawad) is one of Jordan’s longest-standing equestrian clubs, established in the early 1980s. It has several outdoor and indoor arenas, including a pony club arena and over 160 horses living at its stables

 
Forest Hill Equestrian Centre is environmentally friendly from the upcycled use of the land to the sustainability of its entire operations. It also offers therapeutic riding for children and adults with disabilities

 
Asayel Equestrian Centre offers horseback riding and show jumping lessons starting at the age of 6 years from a beginner level to a competitive level. The centre also organises annual trips to Azraq and Wadi Rum

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Adventures in Jordan:

Hiking & Beekeeping in Um Qais

While most visitors to Um Qais set out to explore the ruins at the main archaeological area (the site of the ancient Greco-Roman town of Gadara), Um Qais has even more to offer for those looking for adventure. The Yarmouk Forest Reserve is only 20 square kilometres but protects over 250 species of palnts and is the world’s second most important bird migration route. You’ll also enjoy breathtaking views of the Yarmouk River, Golan Heights and Lake Tiberius. Entrance fee to hike here is JD2.5 paid directly to the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) upon arrival.

While in Um Qais, don’t miss the opportunity to learn about beekeeping, what bees can teach us about life and why their survival is so important to human survival. With Baraka Destinations, you can book your experience with Yousef Honey to discover the fascinating queendom of bees and get a peek into their hives. Your tour, led by Yousef, a professional beekeeper, includes suiting up in protective gear and getting up close with thousands of bees.

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Did you forget?

Here’s a wacky holiday for your parents and grandparents! “I Forgot” Day is celebrated in the United States on the 2nd of July. If your mama or jiddo is a forgetful person who frequently forgets anniversaries, birthdays, special occasions or to pick up lebaneh from the supermarket on their way back home, then this is the unofficial holiday they should be celebrating!

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Badminton in Amman

Between running, lunging, diving and hitting, you can burn so many calories playing badminton while your child learns the skills for themselves! Where to go? Rocky Rackets Badminton Academy is open to parents and children while Shuttlers-Jordan Badminton Academy is for adults; both have certified coaches to train and both are equally fun and intense!

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Busting Summer Boredom

Creating a Child-Friendly Play and Learning Environment at Home

By Michelle Mace Qudah, Early Learning Expert

(Family Flavours, July 2014)

One way to encourage solo play and self-sufficiency in play is to create the right play environment for your child. Try designing your home to include:

 
Balconies or a small yard with plants or garden beds for your child to care for

 
Sand areas for digging and playing

 
Play areas and toys that allow for art, dramatic play, tents, tunnels, Legos, music, dolls, kitchen, dress up, puzzles and games

You can also:

Rotate toys

 
Create a box of toys specially for when boredom strikes

 
Make an art basket filled with art supplies such as crayons, coloured pencils, finger paints and papers of all different sizes and colours

 
Save old boxes and encourage your child to build a new “used box creation”

 
Send your child on an easy scavenger hunt. This game works well with siblings or when on a play date.

     
Older kids can make the game for the younger children and tell them to go find five rocks, 10 toys, etc.

 
Make a dress up box filled with colourful clothes you no longer need

 
Provide materials for an indoor tent

 
Provide materials for art projects

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Yummy Fun

By Shareef Schwarten (7)

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We always have apples and cream cheese in the house so this recipe helped my family and I stay happy through those months of quarantining and homeschooling.

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Apple Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients 

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup packed brown sugar

34 cup cold butter, cubed

2 packets (220g each) cream cheese, softened

1⁄3 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 apples, peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ cup walnuts, crushed (optional)

For the topping

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup quick-cooking oats

1⁄3 cup cold butter, cubed

Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 175°C

2. In a small bowl, combine fflour, brown sugar, and cubed butter and mix with your hands until crumbly. Press into a well-greased baking pan and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, one-third cup sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low speed until combined. Spread over crust

4. In a small bowl, toss apples with walnuts (optional), cinnamon, nutmeg and two tablespoons sugar and cover the cream cheese crust

5. In another bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple layer

6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is set

7. Cool in pan on a wire rack for one hour. Refrigerate at least two hours

8. Cut into bars

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Apple Fritters with Sprinkles

Everyone from young to old will enjoy these apple fritters! This recipes makes about 20 fritters.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ¼ cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 tbsp vegetable oil
6 apples, peeled and grated
¼ cup sprinkles in rainbow colours
Vegetable oil for frying

For the glaze
3 cups icing sugar
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Rainbow sprinkles

Directions
1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt

2. Whisk together the milk, vanilla, eggs and vegetable oil

3. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet. Fold in the apples until well mixed

4. Fold in the rainbow sprinkles without overmixing

5. Heat oil in skillet and drop about ¼ cup sized mounds of batter into the hot oil. Brown well on both sides, remove and place on paper towels to drain. Let cool slightly before glazing

6. To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla

7. Dip each fritter into the glaze and place on a cooling rack to set

8. Top each fritter with some more rainbow sprinkles

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