This was one of the first “games” J ever played.
I brought a flashlight, plastic cup, and 10 puff balls (or whatever you call those crafty fuzzy falls!) into his room. I “hid” (in plain sight) the balls throughout his room, we turned out the light and used the flashlight to try and find them. As we found them, he would put them in his cup. So simple and such a winner! It took almost 20 minutes to get all the balls in his cup. He kept accidentally dropping one (or more) out of the cup while reaching for another one. He would bend down, pick up the ball (while the last one fell out of the cup), put the ball inside the cup then look down and see ANOTHER ball right there too! Or he would manage to get 5 or 6 balls in the cup, bend down to pick up the 7th, put it in his empty cup, turn around and find 6 more right there behind him.
When he finally finished, he was happy to play again and again.
My basic teaching goal going into this was to encourage him to finish what he started. To me that’s the requirement of a “game”. You’re given a task, told what is required to win and you play until the win/end is achieved. True, he had no competition in this game (unless you count the sneaky cup that just kept tossing out all those balls!), but at his age the task itself is competition enough.
Age? 16 months
Try Again? Yes; I did this again a few times. I do think there’s a point it loses it’s luster. But now (at 21 months) he could probably better manipulate the flashlight and find the “dark” aspect more interesting.