This is a game devised by the author AA Milne in the Winnie The Pooh books. It is very simple and a very cheap way of keeping children amused while on a walk in the countryside.
AA Milne originally called the game 'Pooh bridge' but after carrying out some research with Christopher Robin and his friends, he amended it to 'Poohsticks' as they found that sticks were easier to mark.
The components of the game are sticks (a selection of) - and if you wish to avoid a Third World War breaking out over whose stick is whose, it's probably best if you mark the sticks to make each one easily distinguishable. You also need a small bridge over a small flowing river. Still waters might run deep but they are not suitable for this game.
Each person is given a stick and drops them from the upstream side of the bridge at the same time. They then race to the other side of the bridge (downstream) and wait for the sticks to appear (note that the water has to be moving in order for this game to work). The stick that is spotted first is the winner!
This game is suitable for all ages and is not restricted to minors.
In August 1999, it was reported that the original Poohsticks Bridge in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, UK, is falling down and needs to be rebuilt. The Disney Corporation, who own the rights to the Pooh stories and images, have been asked to contribute, otherwise parts of the old bridge may be sold to raise funds.
For more waterside and park games see Games to Play Down by the River.