A 1940s Childhood in Peacetime

The 1940s was a period of great austerity. Children were particularly affected by rationing of food, clothing and sweets. Materials such as metal and lead that had previously been used to make toys were used for the war effort instead.


This meant that throughout the war most children played with toys that were either hand-me down or homemade and they almost never had any sweets!






Schools in the 1940s (for ages 7-14)
Age Range: 7-11
Subjects: History, English,
Connecting Classrooms Themes: Rights and responsibilities
Core Skills: Communication, collaboration, media literacy
Learning Outcomes: To develop an understanding of the similarities and differences between schools in the 1940s and the present day


What are their opinions about how the boys and girls were taught separately in some lessons, with the boys learning woodwork and the girls learning home management?


Can the UK school find out if children from their local area were evacuated during the war or did local people help to look after evacuees from cities? If your school or a nearby school was teaching pupils in the 1940s, investigate what the school log book from the period can tell you about events that happened in the school in this era.


Additional Resources:

Materials from the Museum of Childhood

Dogger by Shirley Hughes

School log books and newspapers from the 1940s