Let’s face it. The best therapy is the type you don’t realize you are doing. Nothing could me more true for kids who need help with hand strength and dexterity. After my daughter was diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease (A degenerative nerve disorder) my sister sent her this Mancala game to help with hand strength. She will play this game for at least 3-4 rounds before she gets tired and it’s always something she will initiate. Just leaving it in an area where she can see it, inspires play. As you can see from the video it is easy enough to play… but there is still a struggle with picking up the stones and putting them in the correct places. She doesn’t even think about the work she is doing because she is so focused on WINNING!!
If you want to extend this to some more challenging fine motor activities you can make your own Mancala board out of free items.
Other benefits of Mancala for kids:
- Hand manipulation
- Fine motor skills
- Critical thinking, logic, problem solving
- Math fluency
- Family bonding
- Connect to different cultures/styles of play