It has been a custom in Germany since the 19th century to give a child a special gift when they start school: the school cone. Filled with delicacies such as nuts or dried fruit, the contents were supposed to sweeten the school children's day in the truest sense of the word. This tradition has lasted to this day - however, it has now become common practice not only to stuff the bag full of sweets, but also with all sorts of practical and useful or even funny things. If you are still looking for suitable gift ideas, the following filling tips will surely help you.
A bento box for school children is the right companion for the little hunger in between: its six sealed compartments have the advantage that fresh food no longer has to be packed in foil and produces a lot of waste. On the other hand, different products (e.g. bread, fruit and vegetables, quark, biscuits) can be placed next to each other without mixing. Or you can give away a whole set consisting of a personalized lunch box and drinking bottle in the same design. The set is available here.
A little learning aid for at home: the Question Bear learning poster. It features the alphabet in lowercase and uppercase, the numbers one through ten, learning words and fun pictures to help first graders learn to write more easily. They can also practice their first attempts at writing on a timetable on which they can immortalize their subjects over 25 pages (if, for example, the hours change). The timetable is here.
Not all children can be taken to school personally by their parents. They learn how to drive the bus independently in first class – and how to handle money properly. A practical neck pouch is the perfect gift so that you don't carry your coins or bills loose in your pocket. Alternatively, a small money box fits into the school cone, for example from Lego. In this way, first graders can learn early on how to save their belongings. On top of that, they can assemble the money box themselves.Here is the piggy bank.
In the first grade, the children not only learn to do arithmetic and write, but also to paint. Art is taught to encourage their creativity and train their eyes. The subject is particularly fun for most first graders because they can let their imagination run wild. As a gift for the school cone, a new ink box or a matching painting apron is a good idea to protect the children's clothing from possible paint splashes or other handicraft utensils. The apron is here.
A classic gift for school enrollment is the fountain pen (e.g. from Lamy), with which the students will write their first words. Pencils are usually used for arithmetic or drawing, and colored pencils for painting. So here you have a variety of options for storing a few of the writing utensils mentioned in the school bag. Or you can give away Sprout pencils and colored pencils, which can be planted after use and transformed into a plant. The fountain pen is here.
For other subjects like math, first graders will definitely need good pencils and an eraser in case they make a mistake. A sharpener is also required when the lead becomes dull, and a ruler, for example, to draw fraction lines. So that you don't have to buy everything individually, you can buy a ready-made set - or just a ruler from Lego (15 or 30 centimetres), which must first be assembled before it can be used. The ruler is here.
In the breaks between lessons, first graders spend a lot of time in the schoolyard. All forms of games in which children have to be active are particularly popular here - such as with the rubber twist. Skipping ropes are also particularly popular with girls and marble games with boys. The games are very suitable for exhausting yourself and making new friends. The marbles are here.
Cycling also plays an important role in elementary school: school children learn the most important traffic rules here. This also means that they have to equip themselves and their bikes with reflectors and spoke lights so that they can be seen by other road users even when visibility is poor, for example when it is raining or snowing. The spoke light is here.
The first few days after starting school are particularly exciting for children, when they can get to know each other better and make their first friends. There are special entry books for boys and girls to record the memories of the first time, for example the names of the new classmates or what was in the school bag. Alternatively, a friend book is a nice gift for classmates to write in.
The girls book is here. The boys book is here.
Over time, many school children also have to make their way home on their own. Since their parents are often not back from work after school, many primary school children are given their first house key. So that they don't lose it right away, a lanyard is a good gift for the school cone. Best in combination with a name tag in case the key is lost and the finder has to bring it back to the recipient.
When packing the school cone, there are a few points to consider so that no gift is accidentally damaged under someone else's load. Here is a tried and tested packing system that you can use as a guide:
The tip of the school cone is very sensitive and, in the worst case, can buckle if it has not been filled properly. It's best to stuff these with pointed gifts that are sturdy enough not to be crushed by objects above. Smaller gaps in the tip can be filled with sweets like candies.
Many school cones these days are almost as big as the children who wear them. It is all the more important to balance the weight well so that the bag does not fall out of your arms when you are carrying it. It's best to pack the heaviest presents at the bottom and the lightest ones on top - this keeps the center of gravity at the top.
So that the gaps in the school cone are not only filled with sweets, you can use other filling material such as newspaper or crepe paper. This also makes it possible to cushion sharp objects so that they don't accidentally impale the other gifts.
Increase the excitement by individually wrapping the gifts for the school cone. On the one hand, your child will have even more fun unpacking the contents, and on the other hand, you also save on filling material. In any case, the best gifts should not be at the top, then the surprise is even bigger.
The school cone should be filled so that your child can carry it alone. If you put too many heavy gifts in it, a first year will have a hard time holding them - and the top could also snap due to the weight.
Close the school cone very carefully after filling it - most models close with thin crepe paper, which can tear very quickly if you pull on it too hard. It is best to tie the bag with a thin fabric ribbon and make a bow so that your child can easily open the ribbon again.
If it rains on the day you start school, there is a particularly high risk that the school cone will get wet and the material will soften. To counteract this, you can wrap the bag in a transparent rubbish bag so that it stays dry and does not threaten to tear until school starts.
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