Researches suggest that children who are exposed to early literacy tend to read earlier and excel in school as early literacy profoundly influences the language development, cognitive development - the foundations for other learnings thus leading to academic success.
We have introduced books to Baby A when she was 6 months old. Initially, she enjoyed seeing pictures, touching the pages, flipping through them, reading aloud to her. While Reading a book to your child has numerous benefits as it promotes your child's Brain development, Sparks Imagination, and curiosity, helps your child understand letters, sounds, words and most importantly strengthens your relationship with the child but you will be surprised to know that Storytelling and Singing Rhymes are the other best ways apart from Reading to promote early literacy skills in your child.
If your child is too bored of reading a book you can add a tint of a fun element by reading the content of the book in a fun way by making various noises and faces to express the emotions of the content and your child will truly enjoy it. Baby A literally asks me to read that way and this is one of the main reason she looks forward to same book every single day without getting bored of it. Baby A is very fond of storytelling too. I always try to make fun stories on my own which mainly focus on things she loves and enjoys the most and then narrate the stories by making her sit in the warmth of my lap. This is one of the best ways to spark the imagination and curiosity in kids while making sure to help them learn and understand the right things by coming up with stories imparting Moral lessons of kindness, politeness and so many such things.
Apart from storytelling, singing various rhymes does attract Baby A a lot. We have this routine of singing rhymes together before we go to bed each night and Singing Rhymes before bedtime is also one of the reasons she looks forward to bedtime every single night. Make sure you help your child to express the emotions through hands movement or other body parts while you sing the rhymes to help your kid understand and learn easily and keep the fun element alive. You might be surprised to discover that sometimes your baby will love storytelling and singing rhymes more than reading books
You can start as early as 3 to 6 months. When it comes to inculcating pre-kindergarten language in babies /junior toddlers, every time of the day is right.You can sing rhymes or storytelling as your babies demand it or enjoy it i.e while you cook, play with the baby, go for a stroller walk. Even bed time during nights is the best time to help baby sleep peacefully while you tell a story or sing rhymes.