With so much uncertainty about the new school year, why not make it special by celebrating the first day of school with a schultuete (pronounced shool-too-tuh). The "school cone" is a 200-year-old tradition for students in Germany. Filled with treats and school supplies, it's typically given German students at the beginning of first grade, but it can be adapted to any age. While both empty and pre-filled schultuetes fill stores in Germany by end of summer, they aren’t as available here. Luckily, making a schultuete at home is easy!
one sheet of poster board
clear packing tape
embellishments to personalize the schultuete (see below)
school supplies and candy or other sweets to fill the school cone
- Lay the poster board on a flat work surface with the shorter side facing you.
- Roll into a large cone and secure by taping the outside seam with packing tape. Don’t worry if the top edges of the poster board don’t meet.
- Make the top of the cone flat by cutting straight across the upper part of the cone, just below the uneven edges.
- Embellish the paper cone to fit your child’s interests. Decorate with stickers, glitter or jewels, or cover it with a movie poster or pictures.
- Set the cone aside and lay out two pieces of gift tissue, one on top of the other, with the longer side toward you on your work surface. Smooth the folds with your hands.
- This gift tissue will become the top of the schultuete. Tape the tissue with Scotch tape along the inside edge of the cone, approximately one inch from the top. When you are finished, the tissue will cover the entire inner rim and extend up and away from the top of the cone.
- Pad the bottom of the cone’s inside with crumpled tissue.
- Now for the fun part, fill it up! Traditional fillers include school supplies such as silly erasers, pens, pencils, crayons or small notebooks. Don’t forget to add candy to make the first day of school sweet!
- When filling the schultuete with goodies, you will want to pack it to the top of the cone. Add a few more pieces of crumpled tissue on top of the filling, then gather the outside layer of tissue together at the top and tie with a cute bow. The finished product will look like an oversized ice cream cone.
Your child will appreciate receiving this fun gift to start off the school year right!
Tiffany Doerr Guerzon is a freelance parenting writer and the mother of three children. She made schueltute for each of her kids when they started kindergarten.