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Mancala (mahn-CAH-lah) is a simple game of strategy that goes back thousands of years. Since this game is played all over the world, there are more than 400 ways to play!

Adult help needed.

  • adhesive vinyl paper or contact paper
  • X-Acto-style utility knife
  • blank T-shirt
  • masking tape (optional)
  • stencil template (optional)
  • cutting board
  • piece of cardboard
  • sponge brush
  • fabric paint


1. Set It Up

Put four stones in each egg cup of the carton. Place the carton on a flat surface between two players who face one another, and put one bowl at each end of the carton. The object is to collect the most stones in your bowl.

2. Play the Game

Each player controls the cups closest to him and the bowls to his right. To start your turn, scoop up the four stones from any of your cups. Drop one stone into the cup on the right of the starting cup, and continue to the right, dropping one stone in each cup.

When you come to your bowl on the right end, drop a stone into the bowl and continue dropping one stone per cup on the other side of the board, going counterclockwise, until you have no more stones in hand.

If you put the last stone of your turn into an empty cup, then you get to capture all the stones in the cup directly across from it on your opponent’s side! Then Player 2 does the same with all the stones from one of her cups. Continue taking turns until all cups are empty. Whoever has the most stones wins!