It sounds like a simple marble game, but Mancala has plenty of strategy involved! It reinforces STEM skills such as counting and strategic planning, combining these critical developmental focuses with a fun, easy-to-learn game. It’s a great way to introduce students to counting-based strategy, critical thinking, and other essential cognitive skills.
How to Play
During this game, players collect stones by dropping them in their “mancala” at the end of the Mancala board. The board is set up with both mancalas empty, and all of the stones evenly distributed around the spaces on both sides of the board. To start, players flip a coin to see who goes first.
The first player selects 1 of the groups of stones, removes them, and begins to drop 1 stone in each of the successive spaces moving in a counterclockwise direction, including their own mancala but not their opponent’s. If the last stone from a group is deposited into a mancala, that player takes another turn. If the last stone falls into an empty space, take all of the stones from the cup opposite it and bring them over.
The game ends when all stones have been deposited into both players’ mancalas or there are no more stones on one play’s side of the board! If one player runs out of stones, the other player takes all remaining stones on their side of the board and puts them in their mancala. Players count their mancala stones and whoever has more is the winner!
This folding mancala game includes a hinged wooden playing board, 48 marbles (stones), and complete instructions.