We were fortunate to live in Germany when our boys started school. Our children attended German schools and we were honored to be included in their traditions. Lucky for us they send children off to school right! We loved the attention to detail and care taken to make the first day of school a special time. The children entering the first class were  given a special bright orange hat to let us all living in the village know to take special care and pay attention to these children making their way to and from school for the first time.

Before the first day of school the children walk with their families, new back packs and a schultuete through the town to a local church where the children receive a special blessing. What special memories we have!

Now we live back in the states, but had to share this special schultuete tradition with our daughter.

How to make a schultuete

The schultuete is traditionally made from a large piece of cardboard (poster board). Usually the children make them in kindergarten and then the parents fill them with surprises.

We made one for our daughter by cutting out a pie shape from a large piece of poster board.

The cones can be simple to elaborate.  Ours was decorated with a ruler lacing the cone together.

To make a similar schultuete lay a ruler along one of the straight edges and mark where the holes are on the ruler. Punch holes on those markings.

Roll the poster board into a cone shape and mark where the holes are punched. Punch holes on those markings.

Match up the punched holes and hot glue the cone together.

Take a long piece of ribbon and feed it through the holes attaching the ruler to the cone. Tie a bow at the top.

Create some fringe for the top by sewing layers of crepe paper together.

Snip almost to the stitching line on each side.

Hot glue the fringe to the top.

Gather and glue tissue paper to the inside all around the top. This will hide the goodies inside!

Fill the schultuete full of fun school supplies and candy!

Gather up the tissue paper and tie.

Our brand new student!

Originally posted as part of VolunteerSpot’s Views on Back to School Series. VolunteerSpot’s free online sign up sheets save time, eliminate reply-all email, and make it easy for more parents to get involved at school. Register at VolunteerSpot before October 1st, 2010 using promotion code “TeachersSave” for a chance to win $100 in free classroom supplies for the teacher of your choice from ClassWish.

Please check out VolunteerSpot! What an easy time saving (and free) way to coordinate volunteers at school and get more parents involved!

About Cindy Hopper

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  1. This is a great tradition. I am glad you carried on the tradition in your own way- I am going to borrow this idea, my son is going to school starting in September. I have also included it in our Back to School round up at theclassroomcreative. I hope you inspire more parents!

  2. The Schultuete is such a great German tradition that I have made one
    for each of my grandchildren upon entering 1st grade. They just loved receiving this special gift on their first day of school. I was born in Sudetenland and lived in Nuernberg after WWII. I fill the cones with small school supplies and of course candy. I also decorate the cones with stickers, the name of the child and the year they started school.

  3. I am SO going to do this! Especially for a family that moved back to Salina. They are a set of boy/girl twins entering 6th grade and one 4th grade boy. So you can imagine the anxiety that they are probably feeling. What a fun surprise!

  4. I’m German and what a great Memory die Schultuete is.I even still have mine after 21 Years:)) .
    I Leave in the States now but looking forward to make my Kids one when they go to school in a couple of Years.It is such a great Tradition and i want them to have the same Memory’s i had for my First School Day.

  5. here a schooltuete is a must-have for boys and girls which starting with school. (i had to make one for my daughter this year, too.) every child is so proud of wearing such a schooltuete to school.
    an other word for schultuete ist “zuckertuete”, wich means something like “candy cone”. but of course they’re filled with much more than just sweets.

    many greetings, doro.

  6. Thank you for posting this, as we also lived in Germany for several years and I’d hoped to make these for my girls when they start first grade. Yours is great!

  7. I was born and raised in Germany and LOVED the begining of each school year for exactly this reason!

    Great post! (as always!)

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