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Cones are Cool :: Celebrating the First Day of School

The first day of elementary school is full of excitement, butterflies in the tummy and just a little bit of anxiety. This is why I find the German “Schultüte” custom so especially charming! Maybe you’ve seen these awesome cones in older photos? Here is the story behind them!

The Schultüte tradition dates back to the early 19th century in Germany. Parents give their little first grade students a colorful, oversized cone to celebrate starting school for the very first time. The cone is typically filled with little treats like chocolates, candy and small gifts. So fun! My mother has a terrific photo of her and her Schultüte as a little girl that I’ll have to scan when I go back to Michigan.

The name Schultüte loosely translates  to “school cone” (technically, Schule= school and Tüte=bag….sometimes you’ll see it spelled Schultuete when an umlaut isn’t available!). I remember we talked about getting one for Wolfie last year when he started first grade, but alas we never did! It looks so fun! Check out the grins on these kiddos…

images: barb lawrence


images: janwillemsen

I love these stylish little girls from 1969! Although she wasn’t ready for school yet, mama made the younger sister her own mini Schultüte so she wouldn’t feel left out. Aw!


image: Boxwoodcottage

I don’t know about you but everything seems better served in a cone! German parents and grandparents know this too and since around 1810 they have been helping ease those first day of school jitters by giving them Schultüten. Today, this charming tradition lives on as a celebration for children all over the country. In addition to slightly more modern designs, the cones are now filled with cool school supplies (like paints and crayons) and little toys, in addition to the classic sweets!


image: linda6769


image: meehara

I think this tradition is so wonderful….would you try something like this for your little one when they enter elementary school? I think I would bend the rules and actually make one for 2nd or 3rd grade too!

PS: Here is a cute tutorial to make one yourself, or you can order one from Kinder Cone.

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Posted in Best of Alix.


13 Responses

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  1. Jill Browning says

    How completely adorable!!

  2. Amber Liddle says

    I totally want to do this!! Our friends in Switzerland and Germany posted some cute pictures of their kids with theirs and it looks so fun :) And by the way, if I could get away with dressing my kids in lederhosen, I totally would.

  3. lishyloo says

    this is the greatest thing i have ever seen! i am sooo doing this.

  4. bethR says

    holy cow… those cones are HUGE! i can’t believe i’ve never heard of this after taking all those german classes (at least, i don’t think i remember them).

    i wish i had known of these a couple of weeks ago. might have helped reduce the stress of a VERY DIFFICULT first week of school for my kindergartener. and that was with him returning to the same class he’s been in for two years (montessori). i’m terrified of how next year will go at the public school. i must begin planning his cone…

  5. hannah says

    what a fabulous idea!

  6. Amy Jo says

    Wunderbar! I love this German tradition. Kindergarten starts tomorrow; I’ll have to wait til next year for the big festive cone. I’d love to get one from Germany – is there a source?!

    • Alix says

      kindercone.com is an american company that makes & sells them (German born owners) and amazon.de as well!

  7. Kickan & Conkers says

    Love this post, a great tradition and awesome vintage photos.

  8. jungle dream pagoda says

    Crazy adorbs!!!
    We actually have “The back to school Fairy” that visits my girls…I made it up when my 15 year old was in preschool and I found Lisa Frank lunch boxes on sale at Target after school started…I just left it in her car seat for when I picked her up.
    …and yes…not only does the 8 year old get a visit from the BTSF…but the 15 year old still does too!!
    Such fab pics!!!
    Lisa-G

  9. jenny says

    how fun! i love all the black + whites so much!!!!!! :)

  10. Tonya says

    The elementary school that my son goes to was founded by a German man. To honor him the school teaches all the children German as basic course, and celebrates all German traditions and holidays. All Kindergarteners are given one of these cones on their first day of school. Then when they finish Kindergarten they are invited to help stuff and decorate new Schultutes for the next class. It’s really a lot of fun!

  11. Vivian lie says

    Hi Alix,
    I was looking around for coverage of KinderCOne :) and found your blog entry form some time ago. Thanks so much! I wanted to tell you that if you want to give away some Minicones to your readers I am happy to provide them for you and send you some photos as well if you want. I love all the pictures you found of Schultüten, amazing!

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Schultute: First Day of School Cone » Two Wishes linked to this post on September 19, 2012

    [...] (image source: Moddernkiddo.com) [...]



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