Childhood in Middle Ages


As you know, the childhood in Middle Ages could be very different that it is today. It depends heavily on what sort of status in society he or she held. For instance, the life of a noble kid was very different from the life of a peasant kid. Let’s take a look at what it would have been like to live during the Middle Ages as a child.

Family and House


A peasant house –

In medieval families, most kids lived with their father and mother and brothers and sisters. Because people died young from diseases, a lot of kids also lived with other relatives, or just with an older brother or sister, because their parents had died. Most kids never knew their grandparents, who had died before they were born.

Most people lived in small one or two room homes, and usually everyone slept in the same room. In the country, the family animals, such as a cow, may also live inside the house. It was usually dark and uncomfortable.

Education and Work

Young apprentice learned baking –

Very few people attended school in the Middle Ages. Education for children in the Middle Ages was mostly done by word of mouth from parents to children.

Peasant children had to worked in the fields, or took care of younger brothers and sisters and even animals. Sometimes they worked for their neighbors, sometimes they worked for richer families, as servants. They were apprenticed to learn a skill like weaving or blacksmithing.

Children from rich families were given to monasteries or schools run by the church, and these children were sometimes taught to read and write Latin. The children of very rich men and women sometimes had tutors at home.


Of course, there was no television or video games, but there were still some things that kids of the medieval period did for fun. Both noble and peasant children enjoyed listening to stories being told aloud about many different topics such as fables, myths or legends like Robin Hood. They also liked to dance and play games together at local festival or in the field.

Children’s toys were almost always handmade by the family such as dolls, tops and blocks. Children in the Middle Ages sometimes even made their own toys out of materials found around the house.

Food and Clothing


A basic French stew, a dish popular with both the poor and the rich alike –

Middle Ages people did not have a lot of variety in their food. Peasant kids mostly ate bread and stew. The stew would have beans, cabbage, and other vegetables. Other foods like meat, cheese, and eggs were usually saved for special occasions or send to noble houses. Because they didn’t have fridge for preservation, fresh meat had to be eaten fast or smoked or salted. In the other hand, noble kids ate a wider variety of food including meats and sweet puddings.

Most peasant kids wore plain clothing made from heavy wool to keep them warm during the winter. The wealthy kids, however, wore much nicer clothes made from fine wool, velvet, and even silk. Boys generally wore a tunic, woolen stockings, and breeches. Girls wore a long skirt called a kirtle, an apron, woolen stockings, and a cloak.