Make a Homemade Mancala Game

The game Mancala is a fun, easy-to-learn, two-player game that is played around the world. Most mancala games are made with a special board and pieces. However, with a few simple objects around the house, you can make your own mancala game for free.

What you’ll need:
In order to play the game you will need these items…

* An empty egg carton

* 48 small playing pieces (Some options: marbles, stones, or dry beans)

* 2 small cups or bowls

How to set up:
To set up the game, first cut off the top of your egg carton. Next, place 4 of each of the playing pieces (called “seeds”) into each of the compartments or “pits” of your egg carton. The colors of the pieces are irrelevant. Next, place a small cup on both ends of the egg carton.

To begin:
Players sit across from each other, with the egg carton and cups in between them. Each player should be facing his or her side of the playing area, with the cup to their right being the players’ “store.”

Playing the game:
To begin, one player chooses a pit of seeds and takes them in his or her hand. The player then “sows” the seeds counter-clockwise by placing one seed in each successive pit until all the seeds are gone. As the players sow, they will place a seed in their own store, but will always skip their opponent’s store. When the last seed in a player’s hand lands in his own store, the player gets an extra turn. In addition, if a player’s last seed ends in an empty pit, the player then gets to “capture” the pieces that are in the pit directly across from where this last seed landed. All of the seeds in that pit as well as the capturing piece go into the player’s store. Seeds placed in the store are points for that player. The game is over when one side of the board is empty. The player with seeds leftover gets to put these seeds in his or her store. The player with the most seeds in his store at the end of the game wins.

If you need additional help with how to play this game, try this simple online version until you get the hang of it. Have fun playing mancala!