Russians love children and make them a top priority in life. Although large families have become rare, the typical Russian will invest anything and everything to make his or her child happy. The high priority that children have in Russian culture is reflected even in the huge capital city of Moscow – every cluster of high-rise buildings has a playground – at least one per 10 buildings.
Somewhat paradoxically, infrastructure for strollers is not very well developed. Most buildings have now added post-construction ramps to staircases, and in many neighborhoods, on- and off-ramps to sidewalks are being added. However, some neighborhoods remain very difficult to navigate with a stroller. Public transportation is also rarely outfitted to comfortably accommodate a stroller (for example, there are no elevators in the metro).
Most Russian families keep their children fairly close to home, which is quite easy with public schools, playgrounds, malls, and usually a park within walking distance.
Educational, cultural, and sports activities for children are also very important in Russia. The number of music, theatre, and dance schools, as well as sports programs for children is astounding. They include numerous public and private options; most are in Russian only, but there are also foreign-language opportunities. While traditionally after-school programs and activities for children emphasized learning and perfecting a skill over pure enjoyment, newer schools with a more light-hearted attitude to sports and music, are also now readily available in Moscow. However, if you have a talented young dancer or musician in your family, there is no shortage of schools with high standards and highly qualified teachers who will help your child accomplish his or her very best.
Despite being fairly accommodating for children, Moscow is still a large city. This means it is not as safe as a rural suburb in the United States or in Germany, for example (or for that matter as a rural area in Russia!). Children should not play on the street or on playgrounds unattended, and must be carefully taught to watch for traffic in their neighborhood.