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Puzzling Posts: Adventures in daddy-daughter time

By Chris Cline on December 21, 2013

It’s a problem faced by creative types everywhere: how do parents foster creativity in their children just as the world conspires to grind it out of them with regimented school systems and day-to-day drudgery? For one local parent, the answer lies in blogging his daddy-daughter creative writing exploits.

Apt613 contributor Mike Reynolds is one of the minds behind Puzzling Posts, a blog full of short tales about dinosaurs, robots, magic snowmen and the like. I say one of the minds, because Mike’s four-year-old daughter, the eldest of two, plays an important role in coming up with story narratives for the pair’s bedtime story blogging.

While Mike steers the ship, it’s clear that this is a joint effort. Their most popular short story, by number of hits, is called The Dinosaur Pee Camp, in which dinosaurs learn to use the W.C. The inspiration for the story came from the pair’s real-life adventures in potty training.

And it’s this true-to-life subject matter, overlaid with dinosaurs and robots, that takes Puzzling Posts dangerously close the to world of mommy blogging, or in this case, the more elusive daddy blogging. But Mike doesn’t have a problem with that.

“Dad-specific blogs are lacking,” he said. “But the real driver behind Puzzling Posts is to help my daughters grow into creative people.”

It’s not something he’s trying to force. Mike readily admits that if his daughters were to one day profess their love for mathematical equations, he would be behind them fully. But for now he’s trying to nurture what he perceives as an early knack for creative thought in his daughters.

The other goal is to teach his kids to be mindful of their community. The family is currently supporting The Christmas Exchange by accepting letters to Santa and replying to them with custom responses. Think of it as a more personalized version of Canada Post’s annual Christmas campaign. So far, the idea has raised several hundred dollars and Mike has plans to make it even bigger next year.