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History >> Renaissance for Kids

As Europe transformed from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the daily life of the average person changed as well. People began to enjoy more luxuries, nicer clothes, finer foods, and the arts. There were more craftsmen, artisans, and merchants who developed into a middle class of people who had money, but who weren't nobles or royalty.

Renaissance clothing for menRenaissance clothing for women
Medieval Clothing by Paul Mercuri

Of course, many people still lived hard lives full of work and toil. The daily life of the farmer and peasant was mostly work with little chance to improve their position.


The typical home for a poor farmer was a one room hut, but wealthier merchants began to live in large homes. These homes would have been dark and cold compared to today's homes. They didn't have running water or bathrooms either. They were probably pretty smelly.


Most people ate bread and stew, but the rich had all sorts of interesting and fancy meals. People generally drank beer or wine with their meals, because the water would make them sick. You can go here to learn more about Renaissance food.


Clothing was an important status symbol during the Renaissance. The wealthy dressed up in fancy clothing. Men wore a tight coat called a doublet and women wore long dresses. You can go here to learn more about Renaissance clothing.


The main religion of Renaissance Europe was Christianity and the main church was the Catholic Church. However, there were new ideas during this time including a new Christian church called Protestantism and a new philosophy called Humanism. Humanism was important to the Renaissance because it placed values on human accomplishments and the study of nature.


People during the Renaissance enjoyed all sorts of entertainment. They went to festivals, sporting events, and played games such as chess, checkers, and backgammon. Perhaps the biggest event was carnival which took place before Lent each year. People would have big parties and dress up in costumes for the Masquerade.

Shopping and Money

People would go shopping in the market place in town. Smaller towns would have specific market days when the local merchants and craftsmen would bring their goods into town for sale. Money wasn't as regulated as it is today. Each major city had its own money and the value of the coins could change on a regular basis.

Children During the Renaissance

The Renaissance was a time of great change in how children were treated. At the start of the Renaissance, children were treated like small adults. They were expected to act, talk, and dress like adults. As soon as they could, they were expected to begin working. They generally weren't hugged or coddled.

However, as people gained more free time and wealth during the Renaissance, they began to treat their children differently. Wealthy children were sometimes treated with love and had free time to play and enjoy their childhood.


School was primarily for the wealthy. A wealthy child, especially boys, either attended a college or had a private tutor. They mostly learned about grammar and arithmetic, but some studied philosophy, Latin, and public speaking.

Interesting Facts about Daily Life in the Renaissance Activities

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    Learn more about the Renaissance:

    How did the Renaissance start?
    Medici Family
    Italian City-states
    Age of Exploration
    Elizabethan Era
    Ottoman Empire
    Northern Renaissance
    Daily Life
    Renaissance Art
    Clothing and Fashion
    Music and Dance
    Science and Inventions
    Famous Renaissance People
    Christopher Columbus
    Johannes Gutenberg
    Henry VIII
    Queen Elizabeth I
    William Shakespeare
    Leonardo da Vinci

    Works Cited

    History >> Renaissance for Kids

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