Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play

It’s true that there is no substitute for actual time spent outside, but realistically it’s not possible to be out constantly. And truly I don’t think that is healthy either. There’s always a balance and it’s a fine art to find that.

But, I want an outdoor life that is normalized for our family. It’s just what we do and how we live. So I am constantly searching for indoor toys that promote an outdoor life and encourage pretend play.

Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play

This fall we had the opportunity to check out the Canadian company, Maplelea, and their dolls. I *may* have been just as excited for this as my kids were.

Maplelea makes dolls celebrating a Canadian heritage, and therefore a very outdoor focus (which I love!) While we are not Canadian, they have offered up a perfect opportunity to get to know our neighbors to the north through stories and play.

Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play

The Maplelea girls are seven dolls with distinct personalities who live around Canada. They come with a 64-page journal that can be added to and enough accessories to keep girls entertained and delighted.

Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play

Are they JUST for girls? I don’t think so. My boys were just as excited as the girls and were asking if they had any boy dolls (hint, hint, Maplelea!) While they don’t have any currently, they do have some accessories that fit other 18″ boy dolls that are pretty great. In the meantime, the boys just help add some “excitement” (note the bear at Taryn’s campsite below….)

Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play

Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play


Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through PlayReady for hiking and from Banff, Taryn caught my eye right away. She loves the great outdoors, has an awesome tent and backpacking pack and animal friends too. Plus she wears a hiking skirt. My kind of gal!



Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through PlayCharlsea comes from Canada’s west coast and loves gardening, the ocean and kayaking. She also loves to visit Whistler (though we wish she had skis!) and also loves the outdoors! Her kayak is pretty incredible and gets tons of use in our home, but the kids noticed right away that she wasn’t wearing a life jacket (sold separately!)


While I am totally the person that would keep each accessory only with the assigned doll, my kids love mixing and matching (which is SO much better).

I also love that Maplelea encourages writing and story telling through the prompts and blank pages in the journal.

Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play 

Where to buy them:

As Americans, we have two choices on where to purchase with pros and cons for both!

  1. From the Maplelea Site. They have the full line of products and we pay about 20% less than all the prices listed on the site because of the exchange rate. The bummer? Shipping is expensive.
  2. From Amazon. They have less products and slightly higher prices (not taking the exchange rate into consideration) but free or much cheaper shipping.

Just a few of our favorite products available on Amazon:

Watch for Maplelea as part of our Annual 12 Days of Gear Giveaways starting November 27th! Be sure to sign up for our email list so you don’t miss a thing!

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Encouraging an Outdoor Life Through Play

Maplelea generously provided us these dolls in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. A few of these  links are affiliates.  Thank you so much for clicking through them to make your purchases – it helps offset the cost of this blog in a (VERY VERY) small way!

© 2017, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


  • Amelia lives with her husband and five young children outside of Jackson, WY in Grand Teton National Park. As a mom, she quickly learned that the secret to sanity was to spend more time outside where tantrums don't see quite so bad. Amelia started TMM in 2012 to help encourage all families (including her own) to get outside, no matter the weather. Due to the necessity of having to keep so many kids warm and happy, she has become an expert in kids' gear and loves being able to share it with others.

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