skill level: easiest
cost: under $5
craft time: 20 minutes
This game originated in Africa. It is loads of fun and “board” is easy to make.
cardboard egg carton (dozen egg size)
2 tuna cans, washed, rinsed, and dry
craft paints, in preferred colors
48 marbles, beads or beans
Paint egg carton, inside and out, and let dry.
Paint tuna cans on the outside and let dry.
Playing the game:
Object: Players compete to collect as many marbles as they can before their opponent clears his or her side of the egg carton of all its marbles.
Setting up: Place the egg carton between the 2 players, lengthwise. The cups closest to you is your side of the board. The tuna can are set on each end side it is the Mancala. The one to the right is yours. Place 4 marbles in each of the egg carton cups. Choose a player to go first.
Playing: The first player picks up all the marbles in one of his or her cups and drops the marbles one by one in to each cup to the right. If your Mancala is reached one marble is dropped in there and then you continue around to the other side of the board. However, you do not drop a marble in his opponent’s Mancala.
If the you place your last marble in your own Mancala, you gets another turn.
If the you drop your last marble on your side of the board in an empty cup, you captures all the marbles in your opponent’s cup directly across from your cup. All captured marbles, plus the capturing marble, gets put in your Mancala.
You are not allowed to touch marbles in order to count them. If you touch your marbles, you must play that cup.
Winning: The game ends when one player runs out of marbles on his side of the egg carton. When the game ends, the other player gets to take all the marbles from his or side of the egg carton and place them in his or her own Mancala. The player with the most marbles wins.
Strategy: Is it wiser to go out or play longer to use up your opponents marbles
Please note: This is only one way to play the game. There are other ways. You can search the Internet or visit your library for more options.