I know some will probably consider it a waste of time, but writing games like Tetris and Snake on the console, and moving on to small Roguelikes can be a nice exercise for novice programmers IMO. There's a useful lesson about separating game logic and graphics/input systems that writing such games for the console can help make clear.
Benryves has a tutorial that covers the basics of the console over on his site. I started there and went on to write my own wrappers for console "graphics" and input. If you follow kaktusas' link and dig around you can get to http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms683175(v=vs.85).aspx which gives you the documentation on the functions in wincon.h
If you google something like "Breakout console C++" or "Snake console C++" you can also find a number of examples with code (some better than others, obviously).