For the modern Mennonite child, life is not very different from those around him/her. If the mother works outside the home, the child attends daycare. Children usually attend the local public school and are allowed to participate in school activities. Some parents send their children to Christian elementary schools if one is available. In many of the larger Mennonite communities there are high schools operated by the church. Many youth attend these and then go on to a Mennonite college or university. Church youth groups are very active and provide many opportunities for interaction with each other.
The Amish and/or conservative Mennonite child is raised in a more isolated environment. Small children are kept at home by the mother because she does not have a job outside the home. They attend schools operated by the Amish and/or conservative groups. They are not allowed to go to high school or to college. Old Order children interact with parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters as they do chores that have been assigned to them. Old Order children have toys – some bought, some homemade. But what is important is that these children have lots of playmates. Along with their siblings they also have lots of cousins and neighbors.