Starting Primary School – First Day of School

Starting Primary School with German Traditions

Starting primary school marks a new chapter in the life of a child. It can be an anxious time for any kindergartener or first grader. Some children are curious others might feel anxious. In any case and regardless of type, this special day is in some way connected to feelings of excitement. In Germany, starting primary school is a very festive event and thus celebrated with and accompanied by certain traditions. Children are the center of attention. And to make this day a success, the preparations for the first Day of School start as early as during summer vacation. Matching and coordinated school supplies purchased including a backpack, gym bags, pencil case and an umbrella. With some help from their parents, soon-to-be students create their own traditional school cone called Schultuete. A paper container shaped like a cone and filled with small items like school accessories, chocolate, and other goodies.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate the first day of school. For many families, the day begins with a church service depending on the region. At school, the principal greets the newcomers and older students perform songs or plays on stage to commemorate the celebration. Afterward, the children meet their homeroom teacher for the first time. To lessen the anxiety and lack of predictability of what is to come for the youngsters, teachers may choose to hand out the class schedule and children get to choose their seat. After a group picture with their new classmates and friends, the children are released to celebrate at home. A shared tradition included the baking of a school pretzel, a sweet pretzel bread that was savored by family and friends. Back in my day, it was common for a boy’s pretzel to carry a blue ribbon and a girl’s pretzel to carry a pink ribbon.

The school starts after summer break around Labor Day weekend in the United States depending on region. Maybe you want to experience German traditions and make the day of starting primary school a little sweeter for your little one with a sugar cone or a homemade pretzel. It’s easy to do. Find instructions for the school cone and invitations, as well as a recipe for the school pretzel.

First Day of School in Germany. Traditions. School Cone
German School Cone Tradition

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

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