This is a great game that I really enjoyed playing as a kid. It is simple enough that younger kids can play it, but has enough strategy and combinations to keep older kids interested. In fact, at one point as a kid, I went through and figured out what series of turns would earn the largest number of stones by testing out all of the combinations for a first turn. I may have been a bit bored that summer… though it shows the possibilities for challenge in playing the game. On another note, if you’re not interested in buying Mancala, you can make a project out of making your own set. All you need is an egg carton, and some paint or markers to decorate it with your kid. Then, together you can decide what objects you want to use as the “stones”—this can be large beads, dry pasta, pebbles, or shells that you find together.


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