Did children go to school?
Yes, children did go to school though some schools moved from towns to the country. As well as ordinary lessons children learned air raid drills, leaving classrooms when the sirens sounded to go to air raid shelters.
To raise money for the 'war effort', schools started 'Spitfire Funds' and National Savings Groups. More than 6,000 school savings groups started in 1940. Children saved money each week. Many schools gave children free milk, and there were school dinners too, for a small charge.
Some things stayed the same - exams!
Did children have toys?
Because many toy factories were now making guns or plane parts or other war equipment, there was a shortage of new toys. Children swapped old toys at 'toy-exchanges'. Many wartime toys were made of paper or card, because rubber, plastics, wood and metal were needed for the war.
Lots of toys had a war theme. There were toy planes, toy tanks and toy battleships to float in the bath, There were books such as the 'ABC of Aeroplane Spotting', card games with pictures of soldiers and sailors, and a darts game with a picture of Hitler as the bullseye to throw at!
Did children have to fight?
Not in Britain. Most children left school at 14 (in 1944 the school leaving age was raised to 15). From school, most young people went to work. Only a few went to university. You could join the Forces at 16. At 18 most young people knew they would be 'called up' (conscripted) for the Forces or for war work in factories, farms or coal mines.
In 1945 German boys as young as 10 and 11 took part in fighting during the last weeks of the war.
At home, children listened to the radio. For many, their favourite programme was the teatime 'Children's Hour'. Children listened to music and comedy shows too, though perhaps not to the 'Radio Doctor' telling people how to stay healthy.
People played records on a gramophone. Records in those days were black shiny discs, easily broken. At the cinema ('the pictures') you usually saw two films, plus a cartoon and a news film. There were Saturday morning film clubs for children.