Silver Linings & Sweet Delights: DIY Schultüte


My son starts daycare next week; it’s a bittersweet moment. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of my son being around family until he was age-ready for school, but things didn’t work out that way. So I continue to embrace change with a positive spirit looking for the silver lining in this situation. Which is what, you ask? 

The answer: a Schultüte. 

Say whattttttt? Schultüte is a German tradition and in the English language it is known as a school cone. The tradition began in the early 1800s. Parents would use cardboard to create a large cone, which they would fill with goodies. They would then take the cones and hang them on what was called a “Schultüten-Baum,” known as a school-cone tree in English. The children were told about this special tree with the intent of building excitement about school. This typically happened for kindergarten (smaller version) and first grade (larger version). 

In Germany, this tradition is still practiced religiously just like Easter, Christmas and any other major holidays. These days however, parents put a mixture of fun goodies and practical items in the cone. When I was a child I was very fortunate to grow up knowing my German heritage through experience. With a type-A personality, even as a child, school was something I looked forward to. Especially, my school cone. 

Although daycare is technically not school, my little one is going to be learning some very important skills: social etiquette, independence, and STEM activities to name a few. To make school even sweeter for your little one, read the directions below to create a DIY school cone — it’s a quick, cheap, and fun idea! 

Here’s what you need:

Poster paper

Tissue paper


Crafts to decorate

Ribbon/string (used to close it up)

Goodies to fill (crayons, coloring books, stickers, snacks, mini books, etc.)

Here’s what you do:

  • Starting from a corner, roll your poster into a cone shape; use the tape to close the cone to a tight fit. 
  • Using scissors, trim off the excess poster paper.
  • Glue tissue paper inside the top of the cone. Make sure to use long pieces so that when you bundle it, there are not gaps and you do not tear the tissue easy. 
  • Fill your Schultüte with treats and goodies!
  • Gently gather your tissue paper on the top of your cone and tie it shut with ribbon.
  • Decorate however you please (with stickers, fun doodles, pop out materials, etc.)
  • Give your Schultüte to the new student on the first day of school. I suggest at the end of the day so they have something to look forward to, and don’t cause a scene at the beginning of the day!

I am excited to share this tradition with my son and ready to embrace this new phase of life. If you are someone who embraces this tradition, feel free to share pictures with us — we want to see your story! Enjoy! 

Disclaimer: once received your child might want to be spoiled on a regular basis.


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