I’ve been missing Germany lately. I’ve also been feeling a little bummed that I’m no longer in school myself, and therefore have no reason to buy new pens and clips and notebooks. Oh, I do love fresh school supplies and the beginning of a new semester.
So when I stumbled across a picture of Kinder Cones on Facebook, I got a bit inspired.
Literally translated, Schultuete means school bag; Schule = school and Tuete = bag.
Basically, it’s a cardboard cone filled with treats. Traditionally, they consisted only of sweets (Suessigkeiten), earning the cone an alias of Zuckertuete (Zucker = sugar).
The tradition (reaching back to the late 1800s) is that parents present the child with a cone on his or her first day of first grade (Einschulung), which in Germany is the year that kids begin their formal elementary school education. (The American parallel to this is Kindergarten.) The ritual is so popular that many little ones look eagerly forward to their Schultuete.
Some parents choose to continue the tradition beyond the first grade, making it a time to also provide the student with other basics they need at back-to-school time, like socks or clothing. They also don’t stick exclusively to candies for fillings; Schultuete can also contain cool new school supplies and maybe some small toys. A great way to bring a little cheer to saying goodbye to summer vacation, if you ask me.
I love filling Christmas stockings and making Easter baskets, so naturally this tradition is one I plan on starting with my little guy. But,we are nowhere near Kindergarten! My niece is, however, in fourth grade. This is typically a little older if we were sticking with the tradition (er, rule?). But fourth grade is still big news so I’m happy to take the opportunity to celebrate with this Schultuete tutorial.
What You’ll Need:
Paper, card stock, or poster board, depending on the size cone you want to make
Double stick tape
Small bit of ribbon or yarn
Candy, trinkets, school supplies, etc.
Take the paper or poster board and twist into a cone shape. Make a nice sharp point by inserting your hand into the cone.
Tape it down on the outside. Then tape the inside so it doesn’t uncurl on itself.
You’ll likely be left with an awkward point on top from rolling a square or rectangle into the cone. You can leave it alone, but I cut mine off.
Then I started the decorating process.
To make a traditional top, I lined the inside rim of the cone at the top with double stick tape. Then I took a sheet of coordinating tissue paper and just stuck it in around the edge.
Now you have a cone with tissue sticking out.
Apply stickers or whatever trimmings you like to the outside of the cone. I used foam letter stickers I had in my stash from Valentine’s day and a matching little flower embellishment to spell out my niece’s name.
Now for the super fun part. The fillings!
Tie the top with a ribbon…
and now you have a Schultuete for your little student!