Germany has a wonderful tradition, practiced since 1817, of presenting children with a schultüte on the first day upon entering first grade. Ruby entered the first grade last year in a German school and I decorated a store purchased cone so we could participate in this fun tradition.

The schultüte is a big cardboard cone, decorated, and filled with toys, chocolate, candies and school supplies. The idea behind the tradition is to make the anxiously awaited first day of school a little bit sweeter. Think Christmas stocking, and you will get the idea.

In the German school system kindergarten is for children ages three to five and it is paid for by the German government. It is Waldorf style environment where the children learn from nature and play but don't participate in formal lessons. When the children transition into the first grade it is a big change in terms of learning style. They then study reading, math, language skills and other academia in a traditional classroom setting. The schultüte is a nice memento of this big step for children.

Ruby is entering the second grade this year, and while it isn't tradition to present children with a schultüte again, I wanted to make her one as a memory of her time in a German school. We are so proud of her hard work as she again enters a full immersion style classroom where only German is spoken.

Follow along and surprise your little one with a schultüte. I assure you it is a tradition your kids will want to continue.

-    a piece of tag board any color will do
-    markers
-    glue
-    felt or other decorations
-    tissue paper
-    ribbon
-     a glue gun and glue
-     scissors

1.    Roll your tag board into a cone shape, dull side to the outside (it's easier to draw on)
2.   Use hot glue to secure the side and create the cone.
3.   I didn't like how the point of my cone turned out so I made a little felt cone and glued it on the end.
4.   Decorate your cone however you desire.   
5.   Attach your tissue paper to the inside of the top of the cone using regular Elmer's glue.
6.   Fill the cone with goodies.
7.   Gather up the tissue paper and secure with a ribbon.