We have dear friends that come to the States from Germany every summer and it is always a joy to spend time with them. Sadly, they have recently left the states and have flown back to Germany. There presence always stirs up questions in our two children (7 and 4 years old). Aside from just verbalizing the cultural differences that exist between our two countries, I plan to participate in one of their customs and provide my children a tangible example of German culture.
As german boys and girls head off to their very first day of school (first grade) they are given a Schultüte "school cone" that is filled with school supplies and yummy treats. These school cones can sometimes be as large as the child receiving them; crazy!
The original Schultüte was given over 200 years ago and did not catch on immediately but is now popular in Germany and surrounding countries, such as Austria, Czeck Republic, and Poland. The cones were originally hung on a tree outside school with each child's name and children were told that if the Schultüte was ripe and ready to be picked then it meant they were ready for school.
I am sure many parents can imagine the joy, excitement, and anticipation of receiving their personal "school cone", but even more than that, is the peace of mind that their cone was easily picked off of the tree and were ready for school. This was meant to encourage a spirit of readiness within children as they embark on something new and different.
If you are interested in sharing this story and creating a Schultüte for your child it is simple.
Draw a cone shape on a poster board and cut along the lines. Roll up the sides to create desired volume and hot glue along the seam to close. You could also use a poster for this (Star Wars, Super heroes, Legos, Frozen, Princesses, Fairies, etc). This is a simple way of creating decoration without taking the time to actually decorate.
Grab whatever tissue paper you want and continue with glue along the top circular opening to create a closure (this is optional). Fill your Schultüte cone with whatever goodies you want and close off the tissue paper top with ribbon.
Surprise your new Kindergartener with this on their first day of school as an encouraging and educational experience.