First Day of Elementary School

The First Day of School

First Day of Elementary School – always picture perfect.

In my day, the beginning of the school year started in spring and not after the summer break. The 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 beginning of the celebration ended at home sharing the pretzel with family and friends. 

Einschulung in the fifties and sixties in Germany.

  Starting School

I was very proud on my first day 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.


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

Yours, Oma

(Click titles or photos to go to featured post.)

School Pretzel

School Pretzel

School cone

School Cone filled with goodies

Invitation for download


German School Cone Tradition

German School Cone Tradition

German School Cone Tradition! Treat your kids with a School Cone.

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!     

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) OR fabric OR tissue paper OR gift wrapping paper 
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)

German School Cone Tradition                     image4


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.

image5                     German School Cone Tradition

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.

German School Cone Tradition                     image10

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.

photo20  German School Cone Tradition  German School Cone Tradition

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.

To find the recipe for a school pretzel, another German tradition on the Einschulung, click the link

First Day School Invitations


Invitation First Day Kindergarten

In Germany, the first day of elementary school   is a major life event. One worthy of a celebration. Make your child feel extra special by adopting this German tradition. Have a First day of School Party! Just like any fun-filled event, it starts with an invitation. Below you will find invitations in a variety of colors, which I designed and prepared. Just pick your favorite by clicking the image to download. Then, just print, cut out, and decorate. These invitations are easy and fun to make, so get your child involved in the process. And get ready for a day they will never forget.

Click a template to download First Day School Invitations:

White invitation for First Day of School       Yellow invitation template for First Day of School       Pink invitation template for First Day of School

green Invitation template       Blue invitation template       purple invitation template


1. Have your child pick the color he or she likes.

2. Cut out the school cone on the inside of the lines.

3. Fold in the center with the writing facing outside.

IMG_4339     IMG_4341     IMG_4342

(Open)                                                                                            (Front)                                               (Back)

4. Cut the top edge either straight or with pinking shears.

5. Cut ribbon width 1/8″ to make a bow on top.

Making First Day School Invitations

6. Decorate your invitation with your child’s choice of stickers and you’re ready to go.


What’s the First Day of  Elementary School/Kindergarten like in Germany?

The day usually starts with a special church service. Afterwards, there’s a welcome ceremony at school, hosted by the principal and classroom teachers—featuring performances by the older students. Following the ceremony, the children celebrate at home with close family, friends, and neighbors. And for a good reason! These children, after all, are entering a new and important phase of their lives—one that will help them grow and shape their future with a great education.

Whether in Germany, in America, or anywhere else in the world, let’s make sure our kids get the attention they deserve on this very special day. Send out invitations for the party!


Preparation Back to School

Prep for school. The Oma Way.

Preparation Back to School!

School is just around the corner—time for parents to do their homework early. After all taking the necessary steps for preparation Back to School is the key to a successful, stress-free start of the year. Along with the typical supplies you can find on your kid’s school website, here are some tried and true German products, materials, and customs that continue to make the grade for students of all ages.

Elementary-School Supplies:

Preparation Back To School

1 – Backpack (Herlitz)

1 – Lunch box

1 – Water bottle

1 – Small purse or wallet for lunch money

1 – Weekly calendar with magnets for school schedule

1 – Fun locker or cubby accessory

6-8 – Book covers

12 – # 2 Pencils

24 – Crayons (Crayola)

2 – Glue sticks (“Uhu”)

1 – Box of tissues

1 – Pink eraser

8 – Broad-tip markers

1 – Pair of kids scissors (Fiskar)

1 – Pencil Case (Herlitz)

1 – Wide-ruled, spiral-bound notebook

3 – Pocket folders

12 – Pencil crayons (Twistable Crayons by Crayola)

Extra Credit:

Make the first day of elementary school extra special with a School Cone Zuckertuete.” Find out what this fun, German, cone-shaped tradition is all about.

Prep for school

Middle-School Supplies:

 1 – Backpack (Kipling)

1 – Lunch Box

1 – Water bottle

1 – Purse or wallet

1 – Stylized locker accessory

1 – Bag for PE clothes

3 – Clothes hangers

6-8 Book covers or you make your own

12 – #2 pencils

2 – Mechanical pencils

2 – Glue sticks (Uhu)

1 – Bottle of white glue (Uhu)

1 – Pkg. washable felt markers

1 – Pair of scissors

1 – Pencil case (Herlitz)

6 – Pocket folders

2 – Pkg. lined notebook paper

1 – Pkg. plain copy paper

4 – Lined composition notebooks

2 – Blue pens

2 – Red pens

1 – Ruler

1 – Pkg. Map Colors

2 – 1” Binders

1 – Pkg. of subject dividers

1 – Scientific calculator

1 – Pocket dictionary

1 – Pencil sharpener

3 – Highlighter pens

1 – set of post it taps 1” and 0.5”

1 – Set of watercolors (Pelican)

High-School Supplies:

1 – Backpack (Kipling)

1 – Lunch Box

1 – Water bottle

1 – Purse or wallet

1 – Locker accessories picked by individual needs

3 – Clothes hangers

1 – Bag for PE clothes

6-8 Book covers 

12 – #2 Pencils

2 – Mechanical pencils

2 – Glue Sticks (Uhu)

1 – Bottle of White Glue (Uhu)

1 – Pink eraser

1 – White eraser

1 – Pair scissors

1 – Pencil case (Herlitz)

10 – Pocket folders

2 – Pkg. lined paper

1 – Pkg. plain paper

10 – Blue pens

3 – Red pens

1 – Ruler

1 – Pkg. pencil crayons (Twistable Crayons by Crayola)

2 – 1” Binders

8 – Subject dividers

1 – Scientific calculator

1 – Geometry set (Staedtler) also available at arts & craft stores

1 – Pocket dictionary

1 – Thesaurus

1 – Pencil sharpener

3 – Highlighter pens

1 – Agenda book/Student planner

1 – Staple remover

1 – set of post it taps 1” and 0.5”

1 – Set of watercolors (Pelican)

If you follow the tips of preparation Back to School, you might enjoy with your children the First Day of School.