Childhood in the '50s – Did You Know???

As part of our Childhood Now & Then topic  for our Positive Childhood campaign we have taken a look back in time with the help of the Museum of Country Life at Childhood in the 50s and what life was like for children at that time.

Did you know…….

Here are some interesting and maybe quirky facts from life in 1950s rural Ireland that you might not have known!

#1. Large Families were the Norm

In the 1950s familes of up to ten children were not unusual!

#2. Babies were not born in hospital!

Most babies were born at home in the 1950s.

#3. Toys were not the toys we know today

Toys could be made from sticks, stones and even matches! Shop bought toys were a real treat such as comics, dolls and marbles. Lots of toys were handed down from child to child.

#4. Children didn’t usually stay in school until 18/19

Many children left school in their early teens to start work.

#5. Children had to do chores

Kids used to have lots of jobs around the house such as collecting firewood.

#6. Saturday night was bath night!

No showers or baths every day in the 1950s!

#7. Polio & TB were a worry

In the 1950s Polio and TB were the big health worries in Irish homes.

#8. Tea Chests were used as Playpens!

Most small babies spent their time in Tea Chests, which were used as playpens.

#9. Rural Life was very Different

Travelling shops were a common occurance in rural Ireland. Walking was the most common form of transport. Fair days and markets were a great source of enjoyment.

#10. Jelly and custard was a favourite dessert for many!

Need we say more?!

Do you have any stories from your parents about their childhood in the 50s? Tell us in the comments below.

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