Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pooh Sticks

Today was a beautiful, cloudless day with temperatures above normal for mid-November. The past few days have been damp, drizzly and miserable so the sun today had to be enjoyed in such a way that its warmth would last through the grey days that are sure to follow.

Fortunately, I was doing community visits in our city core and had some extra time before lunch to walk through our downtown park. When our daughters were little, I brought them here every Wednesday when the weather was decent. We would go to the market and then walk over to the park for a picnic lunch.

A creek runs through the park, divides around an island, forms a small lake and is crossed by several bridges. I remember the girls standing on the bridges to play Pooh Sticks.

The original Winnie the Pooh stories by A. A. Milne were very popular at our house and were great for stimulating imaginative play. The official 'Pooh Corner Rules for Playing Pooh Sticks' was written in 1996 by Mike Ridley to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the publication of 'Winnie-the-Pooh'. These important rules are copied below.

'The official Pooh Corner Rules for Playing Poohsticks'

Getting Ready...

1. Find a Friend (The more friends-the more fun).
2. Find a Bridge over a stream (To find a bridge you may need a map)
3. Find some Sticks (You must do this before you arrive at the bridge).
4. Find a supply of Food. (Ask everyone to bring some along).

The Game...
1. Select a stick and show it to your competitor and make sure you are clear which stick is whose.
2. Check which way the stream is flowing and face the stream upstream.
3. Choose someone to start the game, he is the Starter.
4. All competitors stand side by side facing 'upstream'.
5. Each one hold his/her stick at arms length over the stream.
6. Starter must call "Ready-Steady-Go!" and all competitors drop (and not throw) their sticks in the water simultaneously.
7. At this point all the players must cross to the downstream side of the stream
8. Look over the edge for the sticks to emerge.
9. The owner of the first stick to emerge from under the bridge is the winner!

I had no one to play Pooh Sticks with me today, in fact, the park had very few people about enjoying the nice day. Tonight I looked on the shelf and pulled out the A. A. Milne books and re-read the adventures of Pooh, Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga and Roo for old times sake. The stories were written by a father for his son, Christopher Robin, but in truth I think A. A. Milne wrote them for himself.


  1. My daughter, the lovely Jen, was raised on AA Milne's stories and poems. She's 26 now, and we often recite the poems when we get together!

  2. We used to play Pooh Sticks when we crossed the bridge in France over the Seine, from our island to the mainland.

  3. Such beautiful fall images Ruth. :c) I've never played Pooh Sticks but do remember seeing Pooh and Rabbit playing on a video that Sam has!

  4. K&M- My twins are 25...we must be similar ages. Yes, while the Disney Pooh stories were enjoyed, the original writings of AA Milne are a treasure.

    SLD- I think our mother started it with us. Your bridge would have been much bigger than the ones at V. Park.

    Jayne- Yesterday was a perfect fall day. You are never too old to play Pooh sticks ;-)

  5. Anonymous8:24 am GMT-5

    LOL, this was really great and made me smile after reading! love the illistration that was included!

  6. Ruth,

    I had never heard of Pooh Sticks, but it sounds like it's a lot of fun. Thanks for telling us how to play.

    Every child I've ever knew has loved Pooh, Christopher Robin and all of the characters who live in the Hundred Acre Wood. Somewhere online is a game where you can find out which Hundred Acre Wood character you are.

    Please drop over to my blog. I have an award for you.


  7. Great pictures and you sure stirred some memories for me!

  8. Monarch- The illustrations and maps from the original Pooh books (pre-Disney) are lovely.

    Mary from Canada- I hope I am not Eeyore in the quiz, but I know several people who are! Thanks for the award.

    Jean- Thanks!

  9. Oh so sweet--not a game I remember hearing about. It would have been great fun to play with the kids.

  10. KGMom- Maybe you can play it with your grandkids someday ;-)

  11. Anonymous1:32 pm GMT-5

    My daughters are 18 and 15 and we still have to play Pooh Sticks whenever we come to a bridge!

    The hospital where Emily was born sent us the Milne book "Now we are Six" when she turned six. How's that for customer service?

  12. Jennifer- That is great gift from a hospital. I am glad someone outside our family has played this game! :-)

  13. Really nice Fall colors.I may play that game with my niece.-sounds like fun.

  14. Larry- Your niece would be a good excuse for you to play this fun game!


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