This Kids Activity of the Day was originally posted on the Kirkwood Public Library’s Facebook Page on April 15, 2020. 

The Kirkwood Public Library is excited to share a daily activity for you and your family to try out at home!  Learn how to play Mancala by reading on!

Kirkwood Public Library Presents Kids Activity of the Day – Mancala Game

This is a game from Africa 6AD. Follow the rules on the next page.

Cut lid off egg carton.

Place a bowl at each end of the egg carton. Your bowl is the one on the right.  Place three beads or small rocks or jelly beans on each of the 12 egg cups. 

Select who will go first. You can flip a coin to choose the beginner.

The first player takes all the stones from any of his egg cups. He places one rock in each of the cups, moving counter-clockwise. If he gets as far as his own bowl, he drops a rock there, too. He does not put a rock in his opponents bowl but does put rocks in his opponents cups. If the last rock in his hand goes in his bowl, he gets another turn. Otherwise, his turn ends.

The second player repeats the same maneuver described above.

The game ends when a player runs out of rocks on his side of the egg carton. When this happens the other player places all their rocks in their bowl.  Whoever has the most rocks in his bowl wins.

There are many ways to play this game.  The above rules are the easiest.

This site has great instructions for this games along with a video on how to play.


Kathy Miller is a Youth Services Librarian for the Kirkwood Public Library. She has been with the Library since 2009.  She enjoys reading, cooking and doing arts and crafts with kids.