Child’s Life in the 1930s

Evgeny Khaldey/MAMM/

The 1930s was a life changing time for everyone. It began when Stalin created the “Stalin Constitution of 1936”, which guaranteed the civil rights and equality among everyone in the USSR. (Freeze) Not only did the lives of men and women change, but the lives of the young children. The children during the 1930s were known as the first Soviet generation. (SovietHistory.MSU) They experienced life under the socialist system which allowed them to have an eventful and knowledgeable childhood. 

The government gave civil rights and equality among genders because they believed that women would help improve the economy. As the industrialization period became important to improve the economy, they realized that it guaranteed survival of the nation and the cause of socialism that it represented. (Freeze) For an economy to grow and thrive in the future, the government knew it could not only rely on the men and women workers, they must also educate the young children who would be the future of the country.  This generation of children were the most educated the Russians had ever had, the most literate, and perhaps the militant (SovietHistory.MSU) A common game taught to young kids was a war game, Zarnista. This game stimulated military operations, which taught them how to navigate to certain  locations, work in teams, and follow their commanders orders. (Russian Beyond) One of the many things kids were taught during their time in school.

  Stalin was believed to have a major influence to this generation, giving children the opportunity to a better education and recreational opportunities. Which led to the slogan “Thanks to Comrade Stalin for our happy childhood “ (SovietHistory.MSU) All this gave an unquestioning loyalty to the party, state, and leader. This generation did everything the government asked, without hesitation because they believed their country cared and supported them. Children were the future of the country. The government invested in the children’s lives so that they could have the best and loyal generation for the future.

“Childhood under Stalin.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History, 18 June 2017,, Russia.

Freeze, Gregory, 3rd ed. Russia: a history. OUP Oxford, 2002.

“This Is How ‘Happy Soviet Childhood’ Looked like (PHOTOS).” Russia Beyond, 7 Oct. 2019,

20 thoughts on “Child’s Life in the 1930s”

  1. Hey, Siria! I feel like your post gives us a lot to think about, I feel like it does become difficult to look retrospectively at the Soviet Union and actually recognize something good? Western history, especially American history, paints the entirety of the USSR as a villain, but, what about these Soviet children who were more literate and had a better education? Its hard to ignore the good in that. But its also hard to ignore that maybe this was a tactic of manipulation, like you said, in order to ensure another, loyal generation of Soviets. Overall, very thought provoking post!

    1. Hi Joy, thank you for you comment! In the one of the sources I used it said that they were the most intelligent because of the new teaching systems and how they improved industrialization!

    1. Nice post, Siria! I think its interesting how the education and nurturing of children had the simultaneous effect of raising loyal citizens who felt they lived in a country worth dying for. This, combined with the emphasis on military strategy games reveals the importance of a strong military in preserving the Soviet Union’s future.

      1. Thanks for the comment Ben!The way they educated their children did show how important the kids were to the economy and to the future of their military.

    2. Hello Professor Nelson, Joy’s post was one of the three I read and she wrote very interesting points! I wish I found more sources that explained more about the childhood of children in the Soviet Union.

  2. Tom, you really dive into some issues about the regime in the very beginning. I think you did an excellent job in describing how the government wanted to invest a lot of time and attention into providing higher education for children. I recognize how this can be seen as a manipulation tactic as well, appropriating education on the youth to create a greater sense of trust in the government.

    1. Thank you Max! It was very interesting to read how the government changed their ways with the new generation of kids. It was a good tactic!

  3. Wow Siria, this was actually very interesting. I had read in someone else’s post about how the Soviets were trying to instal a more militant mindset into its youth, but i had not yet heard of Zarnista. I find it really cool that they could use an innocent childrens game as a form of military training. Great post!

    1. Hi Tanner, thanks for your comment! I had not heard about Zarnista either and thought it was interesting to read that it was a war game they taught young kids. They considered this game to be a recreational activity like soccer and basketball.

  4. Siria,
    I really enjoyed your post! I also liked Joy’s comment; I love how she pointed out that it can be difficult to ignore how bad things were in the USSR, especially since they were doing so much to educate the youth. What I love most about your post is that you bring to light the militarization of the Russian youth, and I think this point ties in well to the sense of nationalism that I’m sure a large population of young Soviets were taught to have on behalf of the USSR.

    1. I also read Joy’s post and thought it was very informative. The way they militarized the youth just shows how important the military was to the Soviet Union. Thank you for your comment!

  5. That was a great blog Siria, it is ironic that with all the wrong of the USSR that the importance of civil rights and education to the youth was very interesting to learn especially to learn they were taught with a war game for location and to work as a team.

    1. Hi Chase, thanks for your comment! I thought it was very ironic to read how the Soviet Union thought civil rights and education were very important. The new regime believed it was a way to gain loyalty of the new generation.

  6. Hey Siria, I really enjoyed your blog and I thought it was very well done and knowledgeable. In hopes for a nation to thrive, obviously the children will be the future leaders and for it them to be successful they must be taught the ways to survive. You did a very good job at explaining that.

    1. Thank you for your comment Matt! Children are the most vulnerable and gaining their loyalty would ensure the future of their regime.

  7. Siria, this is a very interesting perspective on the Soviet education system and policies of the 1930s. You mentioned that the generation growing up in the 1930s was the most educated/literate. Why is that? What differentiated the Soviet education system after Stalin’s death? Great post!

    1. Hi Eric, thanks for the comment!n the one of the sources I used it said that they were the most intelligent because of the new teaching systems and how they improved industrialization! I did not read how the education system changed after Stalin’s death but I will for sure research it.

  8. Hey Siria, I really liked your post and thought that it reflected very well the indoctrination of Russian children into the Soviet way of thinking. This indoctrination would make them incredibly loyal to the Communist party for years to come and I thought that it captured it well.
    Thanks for your post!

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