How to Play Mancala


In this video, I teach how to play Mancala–a fun, simple game with rocks and a special board with cups. (It used to be played on the ground, with little holes in the dirt.)

What is it about this game that almost every kid loves it? I think it’s how tactile it is. It’s really soothing to touch those rocks.

I also use it as a math game for grades K-2. There is some counting strategy involved when figuring out where to start.

I like that mixed ages, from K to adult, can play together and have it still be a pretty fair game. This is one of my top picks for after school programs or as a family game.

For more ways to turn math into play, download our free ebook, Five Foolproof Ways to Help Kids Love Math at the link below.


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  1. Well… I been playing it wrong for 10 years straight 😐 mastered the game & it was wrong the whole time 🤦‍♀️

  2. Interesting, I remember playing it in Club Penguin, and was reminded of it by 51 Clubhouse/worldwide games. This sounds like a solved game; That it has a set strategy to win every time depending on who goes first.

  3. I remember playing this shit in recess anf only my friends and i knew how to play so people would just watch us and be amazed and we would think we were the shit

  4. Wow this was very helpful! This game is coming to Nintendo switch in two weeks as part of a package of 50 other games. I'm looking forward to it.

  5. I remember during grade school me and classmates would bet chips, drinks, snacks etc,. On this game, miss the better times 😕 but nonetheless the nostalgia of playing this game now always seems to put a smile on my face.

  6. I was shopping for traditional board games tonight and came across Mancala for the first time. Thanks so much for sharing this video as well as the egg box alternative. My little girl and I might start practising before our lovely new set arrives!

  7. HI, I am a mancala online game designer. Our new game: magic- mancala is coming soon.Could you make an evaluation video for our game?


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