Living in a different country than where we grew up surely made hubby and I more modest and accepting to the traditions that we’re not used to. As long as its not compromising to Bible beliefs, we allow the kids to participate.
One of those we’re used to having are school ceremonies like graduations and recognition days to mark a child’s milestone in the academic aspect of his life. We don’t have those here, but there is one important routine that kids look forward to. That is, receiving their Schultüte or school cone (sometimes also called Zuckertüte or sugar cone).
While not a requirement, it is a fun routine that not only parents, but also grandparents, kindergarten pedagogues, pre-school and first grade school teachers participate in. One, on the last day of kindergarten, those moving up to first grade in the following school-year receives a school cone as a parting gift. Or two, a cone is given on the first day of school.
Most of the time, making a school cone is part of a creative activity – crafted by the child itself from colorful paper, with help from the pedagogues.
This practice started in the 1800s, and the school cone in older times contained more sweets than it has today, thus, it was called sugar cone instead. Nowadays, it is filled with more practical school supplies.
Tradition has it that the school cones were brought by adults to school and given to the child by the teacher on the first day after being introduced to class. The kids open the cone at home, out of consideration to others. Today, parents can bring it with them as they bring the child to school on the first day it opens.
Self-made or Store Bought
The school cone is just a container, Tüte means bag ( in German and Schule means school. We have often given out Überraschungsbox or Überraschungstüte to friends’ kids – which are goodie bags (literally surprise box or surprise bags) and the school cone is the same idea.
Since crafting is an everyday thing kids do at kindergartens and at home, it becomes more personal when adults make the school cone. While there is no standard size set, the usual one can be bought at 70 cm long and a larger version at 85 cm long. Sometimes, there would be smaller versions that a child’s younger sibling carry as they walk together to school.
Themed School Cones
Some school cone manufacturers make designs of popular cartoon characters or other trending themes at the start of the school year. A child can come along and pick which it likes from the school supplies store, but it can also be a parent’s surprise.
Some cones are also made from corrugated cardboards and shaped with edges instead of as a cone.
If you want a more personalized school cone, making it at home is easy. Here are the simple steps.
What You Need
Poster board – your kids favorite color
Clear Tape (glue, stapler would work as well)
Tull cloth (small piece)
1. Flatten your board first.
2. Roll the board to form a cone. Loosen as you go to get the size you think you need.
3. Glue the outer side and then secure with staples.
4. Even out the top of your cone (doesn’t have to be perfect but so it would look better).
5. Decorate your board if you got a plain one. You can use stickers, cut-out letters or images (anything goes.)
6. For the covering of your Schultüte
Take a piece of tulle, crepe, or other thin cloth. Depending of the size of your cone’s mouth, measure as you glue or stick it around. You can then circle the outside top with a ribbon.
7. You can now fill your cone with the items your kid will need (pens, pencils, socks, candy, etc.) inside the cone on top of the crumpled tissue paper/tulle, taking care not to rip the tissue or tulle that you taped around the top. Pack the cone all the way to the top of the tissue paper or tulle, leaving about two inches at the top to tie with a ribbon.
Contents, What’s in a School Cone
Basically, things that a child would need in school can be put in a cone, just not the heavier or bulkier ones to avoid the cone going kaputt. Here’s some of the things we’ve filled our kids’ cones with:
Chocolate (Trostchocolade = comfort chocolate, literally)
Glue stick and glue
Fountain Pen and ink
So, if you have a kid going to school this September, and you have the time to spare, a school cone is a fun way to start their school year! Let us know what you come up with in the comments!