Home > Nature Study and Activities for Kids > How to Play Pooh Sticks

How to Play Pooh Sticks

There seems to be a bit of a theme this week and we’re fascinated by sticks, we’ve ordered and sorted plus on our recent camping trip they became toys and today we’re sharing one of our favourite childhood games and a question that crops up any time our 50 Things to do before your 11 and 3/4 post which is what is Pooh Sticks and how do you play it.

Instruction on how to play the classic Winnie-the-Pooh game Pooh Sticks



Materials Needed

Sticks collected on a Nature Walk

A bridge

Optional – chalks to decorate the sticks

famFun family game to play outdoors Pooh Sticks

What is Pooh Sticks

In The House at Pooh Corner [affiliate link] by A.A. Milne Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and friends play a game invented by A.A. Milne and Christopher at their local bridge and a firm favourite of children and families in the UK.

…and suddenly, there was his fir-cone slipping away too.

“That’s funny,” said Pooh. “I dropped it on the other side,” saide Pooh, “and it came out on this side! I wonder if it would do it again?” And he went back for some more fir-cones”.

At the start of the chapter, Pooh plays with fir-cones (pine cones) but as Pooh explains

And that was the beginning of the game called Poohsticks, which Pooh invented, and which he and his friends used to play on the edge of the Forest. But they played with sticks instead of fir-cones, because they were easier to mark.

How to play – pooh sticks

Because pooh sticks is a family game and competition much like our pie tin boats last week for #playfulpreschool you have to have a way to identify which stick is yours when it’s a two player game it’s easy to tell as you can position yourself at either end of the bridge and use really different size sticks, however, we play as a family every time we pass a bridge collecting sticks as we go.

Play the classic outdoor game Pooh Sticks with your family this summer, bring alive the classic storybook House at Pooh Corner and the famous game that WInnie the Pooh Invents

So we quickly use some chalk which will wash off and is safe for the environment to mark the sticks as we go.

Pooh sticks, fun outdoor game to play for free with kids, just add sticks and flowing water


Standing on the side of the bridge that faces upstream (the direction that the water is coming from) count down from 3 and throw the sticks into the stream/river and then quickly run across the bridge to face downstream and guess whose stick will come out first.

family fun outdoors playing the game Pooh Sticks inspired by the classic A A Milne Book House at Pooh Corner


Adding learning to the family fun

If you want to add some learning into the fun, there are a couple questions you could ask –

  • Which stick do you think will win
  • What makes you sure that you have the fastest stick

Sticks that are hydrodynamic – streamlined almost straight with no extra branches will be faster than those that are a mass of branches and with leaves attached.

Playing pooh sticks on a bridge in the countryside

You could get the children to experiment with whether heavier sticks are faster or lighter sticks whether the length of the stick matters.

But most of all it’s about learning to win and lose gracefully, as well as creating great family memories this summer.

Watch out for your sticks as you play pooh sticks with the family - find your guide on how to play here

More fun learning with sticks from the #playfulpreschool blog team

Alphabet Activities – ABC Stick Flags by Growing Book by Book

Sticker Counting Sticks in Preschool by Preschool Toolbox

Making Shapes with Sticks by Powerful Mothering

Math Activities & Free Counting Cards for Sticks by Life Over C’s

Creating with sticks and playdough by Mom Inspired Life

Pooh Sticks YOU ARE HERE!

Nature Crafts for Kids – Beaded Sticks by Fun a Day

Pin This Guide on Playing Pooh Sticks to Find Again Later

Play the classic outdoor game Pooh Sticks with your family, try the famous game that Winnie-the-Pooh invents in House at Pooh Corner with his friends.


  1. What a fun and simple game! I know my girls would love it!

  2. This looks so fun! I know the perfect place where we can do this, so we will have to give it a try.

  3. What a great experiment to try with sticks! I’ll bet your kids had a blast. 🙂 Thanks for the summer inspiration!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.