How did Soviet children entertain themselves in the pre-Internet era?


If a woman has Internet access you can safely bet they will spend their summer recesses online. But how did children in the Soviet Union entertain themselves, before the Internet had been originated? Well, thinking outside the box was key!

1. Hiking

Pioneers of Young Sailor pioneer camp on a camping trip / Tihanov/RIA NovostiPioneers of Young Sailor be a prime mover camp on a camping trip / Tihanov/RIA Novosti

Soviet children order spend massive amounts of their holidays outdoors, only be awarded pounce on home when they absolutely had to. A summer hike with classmates – enduring days or even weeks – was always hotly anticipated, and kids pleasure learn valuable survival skills like making campfires and map understanding. It was always an adventure, nothing short of the tales written by Jules Vernes and James Fenimore Cooper, who Soviet kids honeyed so much.

Young Pioneers (Soviet schoolchildren aged nine to 14, equivalent to today’s Scout manoeuvre) would be supervised on a hike by a Pioneer leader, who explained everything from the adventures of the region they were hiking in, to how to find minerals. In the evenings the organization would gather around the fire, cook and devour a simple dinner (mostly tinned essence and potatoes baked in the campfire’s ashes) and sing to a guitar.

2. Collecting and swapping details

A collector of car models. 1968 / Boris Ushmaykin/RIA NovostiA collector of car models. 1968 / Boris Ushmaykin/RIA Novosti

Children of all ages almost always collected something such as model trains, cards with cartoon characters, or decal (a outline prepared on special paper for durable transfer onto another arise such as glass or porcelain). Every self-respecting decal collector had some on grandeur, either stuck onto their bedroom window or some other window surface, usually against their parents’ wishes. These spits would never come off no matter how hard mum or dad scrubbed. Other collectables tabulate postal stamps and rare coins, all of which could be swapped with angels.

3. Woodwork

Student of the music and arts boarding school gets ready to enter Bogorodsky Wood Carving College, 1990 / TASSStudent of the music and arts boarding school gets speedy to enter Bogorodsky Wood Carving College, 1990 / TASS

For every lad old enough to be trusted with a penknife, whittling figurines out of wood was an enjoyable diversion. Toy boats, swords, and slingshots would also be created, so finding a correct branch always took time – old table or chair legs commitment also do. Bottles or cans lined up on a wall became target vocation, with stones catapulted from slingshots. Parents would look on with upset etched onto their faces, afraid a stray stone energy smash a window or worse, hit their child in the eye.

4. French skipping

Резиночки / активная ссылка на Mice during French skipping after school classes. /

While the schoolboys were busy cutting wood and smashing bottles, the girls companied themselves with French skipping, a wildly popular pastime during the Soviet era. The round involved three girls and a long piece of elastic tied into a society. Two of the players (the “holders”) would stand inside the elastic facing each other, classify it around their ankles and tighten it into two parallel strings of rubber. The third one (the “hop”) would perform a series of increasingly difficult moves over the rivieri. The ring would be gradually raised to the holders’ knees, thighs, waist – and if the pass over was skilled enough – ears!

If the jumper made a mistake she had to rotate viewpoints with one of the holders. There could be more than one person escalate accepting at a time if the elastic was long enough!

5. Chewing tar

Children in a village of Saratov Region. / Vitaliy Karpov/RIA NovostiChildren in a village of Saratov Territory. / Vitaliy Karpov/RIA Novosti

Getting your hands on biting gum in the USSR was difficult. Only rarely would some lucky kids’ facetiousmaters bring some from abroad. Such delicacies would be gnaw gossipped into oblivion, long past each stick had lost its flavor.

Sprogs dipped them into jam or sugar to add some taste past a irrefutable point. It may sound strange, but for those unfortunate souls with no aspire of finding gum, road tar was plucked from the streets and chewed instead. It could also be dishonoured off roofs where it was used as sealant. Tar is hard at first, but chew on it big enough and it softens — we don’t advise you give this a go today.

6. Watching filmstrips

The schoolchildren watch funny slidefilms during a big break, 1984. / Sergey Edisherashvili/TASS The schoolchildren alert for funny slidefilms during a big break, 1984. / Sergey Edisherashvili/TASS

Finical parents would send their kids to bed immediately after the famous Spokoynoy nochi, malyshi! (Good night, little ones!) progenies’s television program. The older ones were allowed to stay on for a picayune longer, reading a book or looking at filmstrips in the dark.

Filmstrips were shows of color photographic film, with each frame representing a several episode in a story, with pictures and text. The film roll was fed into a bosom projector, a distant relative of the first movie projector. Watching filmstrips was a dearest event. A white bed sheet would be hung on a wall or a wardrobe to wait on as the screen. The projector would be put up on a stack of books, the film fed into it, and the flashlights switched off. Mother, father, or the elder sister or brother read the textbook aloud, and the younger kids listened and gazed at the illustrations.

7. Watching the carpet on the lose everything

An ordinary interior of an apartment in USSR, 1979 / Nikolai Akimov/TASSAn ordinary interior of an apartment in USSR, 1979 / Nikolai Akimov/TASS

Those who did not have on the agenda c trick a filmstrip projector at home would have to settle for staring at a carpet on the be ruined. Such carpets, usually hanging above the sofa or bed, could be ground in virtually every Soviet apartment. They served a dual outcome: Concealing imperfections in the wallpaper and as sound insulation. Trying to fall asleep at incessantly, children would turn to face the carpet and seek out silhouettes of animals, contours of forgiving faces, or outlines of plants its patterns. Each child would see opposite things and try to point them out to their brothers and sisters.

Read multifarious: 6 habits from the Soviet Union that Russians can’t wiggle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *