Telling the perfect Christmas story to kids

NOW: Telling the perfect Christmas story to kids

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)-The folks at Penfield Children's Center are out with some advice on how to be your best when reading to children.

Know when to stop. Young children have short attention spans and may not be able to or want to sit through a whole book. When their attention wanders it is okay to stop reading. You don’t have to finish reading the book at that time.

Don’t get too caught up in reading the book word for word. Sometimes just flipping through the book and talking about the pictures is enough.

Let your child pick the book even if it means reading the same book week after week. This helps to determine your child’s interests when it comes to books.

The repetition helps younger children learn how books work and learn to associate the words with pictures or actions. For older children this increases speed and accuracy.

Read with expression. Use humor and transform your voice to sound like the Big Bad Wolf or whisper when the character does.
Have fun with it! Let your child guide you with how they want to read some may want to act out parts of books other may want to turn it into a song.

Penfield encourages parents to have their child physically pick up a book and touch the pages every day.

Rebecca Michelson also recently warned about using electronic tablets all the time.

"Having them read the paper books is better than the tablet," Michelson told the CBS 58 News at 4. "Especially at bed time. That light from the screen can stimulate them more and it doesn't make it as calming or relaxing."

Here are some more recommendations for picking the right book.

Babies and toddlers: 

Sturdy books like board books or fabric books.

Books with lots of pictures and little text

Books that talk about shapes, numbers letters, colors, etc.

Pre-school age:

Milestones (mastering potty training, starting pre-school)


Real objects (cars, trucks, houses, etc.)

Puzzle books

K-1st grade:

Select books based on topics that are of interest to your child.

Books with rhythm and repetition are a great way to introduce more complicated text.

Look for books you can read together as well as books children can read on their own (they may be marked as "early" or "beginner" readers).

2nd through 5th grade:

A mix of fiction and non-fiction.

Favorite subjects:

Animals, adventure and fantasy

Science and nature



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