German School Cone Tradition

Treat your kids to a great first day of school. Make a School Cone (Zuckertuete/Schultuete). Here’s how!

German School Cone Tradition!

The first day of elementary school can be an anxious time for any kindergartener or first grader. Make this day a little sweeter with a Zuckertuete, a German school cone tradition. This kinder cone (literally translated: sugar bag) is a German tradition that dates back to the early 1800s. Parents or grandparents would present their young ones with a big cardboard cone, beautifully decorated and filled with toys, chocolates, candies, school supplies, and other various goodies and surprises. Keep this German school cone tradition alive by making your own Zuckertuete. You will see those frowns turn upside down.

Getting started is easy. Just follow the step-by-step instructions and custom-create the school cone also known as the kinder cone or Schultuete yourself—or with your child. The project from start to finish should take only about 40 minutes. But the memories will last a lifetime.

Make your own Zuckertuete. The Oma Way! 

Click on the pictures to enlarge    

German School Cone Tradition

It’s easy. Just follow the step-by-step instructions and custom-create the sugar cone yourself—or with your child. The project from start to finish should take only about 40 minutes. But the memories will last a lifetime.

Preparation for a German School Cone:

Tools and Materials:

 1. Poster-board 22″ x 28″
2. Crepe Paper 50cm x 2.5 m (19.6” x 2.7 yard at arts & craft stores or amazon)
3. Measuring tape
4. Trim (available at arts & craft stores)
5. Ribbon (available at arts & craft stores)
6. Universal glue (Uhu available at arts & craft stores, Amazon)
7. Double-sided tape
8. Pair of pinking shears
9. Pair of scissors
10.Pencil with cotton yarn
11. Decorative stickers with letters and school themes (see below)

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Mark your poster board on the length side at 22”. Take about 26” of yarn and tie it onto the pencil in a knot. Hold the pencil with the yarn in one corner of the short side and draw a circle, till you reach the 22” mark on the length side. You have drawn a quarter of a circle.

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Cut out the semi circle and roll it into a cone—leaving a 9” opening at the top. The edges of the opening should be overlapping.

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Glue the edge of the cone and roll it into the proper direction—attaching it to the glued edge.

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Cut away the overlapping poster board so that the opening edge is even. Use double-sided tape to secure the cone’s overlapping paper on the inside double sided tape to put them together.

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Use your double sided tape and glue it against the outside top edge all the way around the cone. Have the creppe paper still on the roll and glue it against the cone with the tape. When you finished the round let the creppe paper overlap about 3 inches and cut it lengthwise. Glue the end of the creppe paper together with the already attached creppe paper with double sided tape.

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After cutting the creppe paper lengthwise, start on the overlapping side of the creppe paper (open side) and turn the creppe paper careful towards the opening of the cone till you have reached the lower edge of the tape glued creppe paper.Work with you index finger around the edge and fold the creppe paper.

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Grab the creppe paper and and bind a bow around it. On top cut about 8 inches of the creppe paper off with the pinking shears.


Start first with the trim on the top edge. Leave it on the roll. Start at the seam in the back and put some glue onto the trim. Glue it about 0.5 inch under the edge of the creppe paper and work it around the cone.


Your school cone is ready to be decorated. No limitations to it. You either use your own imagination or just use some hints, I have given.

German School Cone Tradition     German School Cone Tradition

First Day of School in Germany. Traditions. School Cone

The First Day of School in Germany is always picture perfect. See what makes the Einschulung so sweet and memorable.

First Day of School – Starting Primary School!

In my day, the beginning of the school year started in spring and not after the summer break. The first day of school or Einschulung, as we say in Germany is a very festive event and celebrated with traditions.

My godmother gave the new backpack called Ranzen to me, and my mother made sure that the traditional school cone was finished and filled with chocolate and goodies. 

Dressed in my best cloth I was prepared to attend the ceremony at the school. After the introduction to my new teacher, we walked to our classroom to receive our schedule followed by taking a group picture. We proudly held our school pretzels for the girls decorated with pink ribbons and for the boys with blue ribbons. (See picture above).

The first day of school ended with a celebration at home sharing the pretzel with family and friends. 

First Day of School in the fifties and sixties in Germany.

  First day of school Germany

I was very proud on my first day of school and felt very special. I thought every school year would begin this way. But to my surprise, the following year, there was no pretzel and no school cone. I realized that this was a one-time event. No wonder that Einschulung day is still so vivid in my mind.

Safety First

Most of the children in Germany are still walking to school. The children wear a bright yellow/orange cap to protect them in traffic and to make them easier seen by passing drivers.

First day of school Germany

I wish every newcomer to school life a great start and hope their first day of school is as exciting as mine was.

Yours, Oma

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School Pretzel


School cone


Invitation for download