Mancala is a game that has been around for thousands of years. It is believed to have originated in Africa or the Middle East. Most versions have different names but they all fall into this mancala type game. My mother learnt this game when she lived in Kenya and taught me how to play Mancala when I was a teenager. I have always taken some sort of Mancala board to my jobs. My latest board is a travel sized one, I used it to teach a previous charge of mine when we were travelling and recently I used it to teach EC and YC.
You don’t need any fancy boards for this game; you can literally make your own using paper and rocks. I wanted to collect shells while on holiday but didn’t get the chance to get enough, so I used pebbles instead.
Make sure you follow my homemade toys board on Pinterest for more ideas, and don’t forget to save the pin for later.
You will need:
- 48 small pebbles/stones/shells/counters
On the piece of paper draw 2 rows of 6 circles (also called pits). At either end of the rows draw one large circle; these are the mancalas (or homes).
Place 4 stones in each of the pits.
How to Play Mancala
You play in an anti-clockwise direction, which means your home is the long mancala on your right.
Player one starts by picking up all the pieces in one of the pits on their side of the board.
Going anti-clockwise, the player deposits on piece in each pit until they are all used up.
If you come to your mancala drop one of your pieces in it. Make sure you skip over your opponent’s mancala when you get to it.
If the last piece you drop is in your mancala then you get another turn.
If your last piece falls in an empty pit on your side then you can capture all the pieces in the pit opposite and put them all into your mancala.
The game finishes when all six pits on one side of the board are empty. If a player still has any pieces on their side when the game finishes, they then put them into their mancala.
The winner is who ever has the most pieces in their mancala.
Pin for later: