For a few months now, we have been playing "real" games with our daughter. We've been loosely playing matching games since she was barely 1-year-old. She is now 2 1/2 and loves to play games. Granted all children develop at different rates and not all are ready when other kids are. But I suggest giving them a try because you might be pleasantly surprised. Our little one hardly sits still for anything, so the idea of her sitting for a game for almost 10 minutes seemed hardly possible. Hint: let them wiggle a little or play the game at coffee table or children's table where they can stand. As far as concept of the game, let them figure it out with guidance. After a few times playing you may notice they want to make it their own game with their own rules. If you are okay with it, let them play with the game on their own after playing with you. That is how creativity develops.
You can find a lot of easy and fun games at the Dollar store. Here are some we have found there:
- Character Dominoes (these are cardboard, but very sturdy)
- Memory Games
- Lots of card games, such as Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Snap, Old Maid, etc.
Other games we play with our little one:
- Candy Land
- Chutes and Ladders
- Countless games I've made