I think I’ve only just got the hang of my eldest going to school and suddenly, the middle one is due to start next month. Not sure where they time’s gone but this afternoon, it’s gone on sorting out some back to school ideas. We’ve been journeying around the globe with activities for a while now (more ideas to follow when I negotiate time outside of being a mother to add more!) and Germany has a tradition of Kindercones or Shultuete (there appear to be multiple spellings) but the principle is the same. Children starting school get give a cone full of goodies to make going back to school sweeter.I found some guidance at Red Ted Art on what they mean and how to make one here: http://www.redtedart.com/2012/09/04/schultute-bastelanleitung/#comment-3359984 but instead of making my own paper, I bought two of those posters you find in places like The Works for £1.99 each. Much easier than sticking paper together, or covering a cone with wrapping paper, like I’ve seen on other sites. Plus the designs were already relevant to going to school.
I found that I could use a wipe board marker on the cardboard so drew a curve using a piece of string held in the corner, whilst tied to the pen and wiped it off once I’d cut it. Probably unnecessary as the line would have been covered up eventually. An elastic band helped hold it together and I used tape to stick it down. A couple of staples at the top made sure it stayed together. I never trust glue when there’s some kind of force involved – like a piece of cardboard trying to unroll!
I glued tissue paper around the top – taped it both inside and out to make it look neater, but I’m not that great with neatness so there were wrinkles and stuff. And then I added some back to school treats.
I tried to include as many German items as I could to keep it authentic. Basically – that meant including Kinder Eggs, Kinder Bueno bars, Kinder sweets, Smarties bought in Lidl that have German phrases on them and Haribo sweets. Thank you Lidl for selling so many German sweet brands at such a reasonable price!!
The rest of the cone includes a selection of school items such as fountain pens (LBM is being encouraged to use one next year), scented pencils and one with timetables on, stickers, scissors, glue, mini lunchboxes and socks. And a peashooter! I’m wondering whether they’d risk taking that to school…
It turns out, after a bit of research, that Fimo modelling clay and Playmobil are German companies and a search on eBay resulted in me finding a Playmobil set for each of my boys with children carrying Shultuetes. I was probably more excited than they’re going to be, but the link was too great to pass up. I’ve also ordered a Playmobil “traditional German family” and some Vikings but they’ve not turned up yet so aren’t in the pictures.
I’m not just going to give them their cones though. They’re going to have to go on a detective hunt around the house (the Black Hand Gang books by Hans Jurgen Press were one of my childhood favourites and I’ve passed that enjoyment on to my eldest. It fits in nicely that he was a German author) and I’ve written them a story that links to some Grimm tales like Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and The Elves and the Shoemaker. I was also lent a book in German about a little girl’s first day at school. My story all fell into place and I’m looking forward to reading it to them and sending them around the house to find the relevant books and the clues hidden inside until the discover their Shultuetes.
My Kindercones are now hidden under the bed (with the youngest due to get a bag of goodies for himself but without the scissors, fountain pens and school socks) and maybe, just maybe, these will help me come to terms with the fact that I’m only going to have one child at home whilst his two big brothers continue to grow up. Weep weep, sob…