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Where has this game been all my life.  Actually, I played this game as a kid, and I have played it as therapy in the past, but I just re-discovered it as a therapy activity.  It is a perfect game for in hand manipulation skills or for fine motor in general.  You could also work on range of motion and reaching, depending on where you place the board.  It’s great to have the mental stimulation of a game while working on skills.

 

To play the game, you place the marbles four in each cup with the end spaces empty.  The end space to the player’s right is his home.  Each player has one side of the game.  When it is your turn, you pick up all of the marbles in a cup on your side and place them one at a time in each cup along the board as you move counter clockwise.  You put one marble in your home space if you pass it, but not in your opponent’s home space.  If you end in your home space, you get to go again.  If you end in a blank space on your side, you can take all of your opponent’s marbles from opposite where you landed, and put them in your home space.  The player with the most marbles in their home space at the end wins.

Materials:

  • Mancala Game (but I bet you could play it with muffin tins and marbles)

Skills:

  • Fine motor
  • In-hand manipulation
  • Visual motor
  • Range of motion
  • Arm strength (depending on where you put the board)

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Tonya is a pediatric Occupational Therapist, and loves creating things to work on skills and solve problems.

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