This is a Schultüte, a school cone, a treat traditionally given to children in Germany on their first day of school. I got the idea from one I saw here, and being the kind of person I am did some research -- there is a bit of history of the Schultüten here. In the strictest sense, the cone is given to children on their first day of first grade, as a marker of the end of kindergarten and babyhood, and first grade and the beginnings of childhood proper. I think it's a sweet idea, and don't mind tweaking tradition a bit, making the cone smaller than the megaphone-sized originals and filled with less-expensive treats, but then into something that can be given every September, to ease the transition between summer and back-to-school.
This cone is made with a sheet of 12 in. x 12 in. patterned paper -- it could be made with 8 1/2 x 11 or A4 quite easily, of course, or sturdier cardstock, whatever is on hand. This particular one was on clearance, so I got it marked down from 40 cents to 10, and felt rather triumphant! I found lots of little treats at the market and in the craft store's dollar bin (most in packets of two, so there is also enough for Julia's cone when preschool starts on the 18th) -- hair bobs, some rather psychedelic drawing pencils, a plastic pencil case, some rubber stamps, stickers, a note pad, and pens with purple ink, as well as two bite-sized Milky Way bars for a sweet. I resisted my first urge to color-coordinate everything, and just went with what would be Laura's choice, the most colorful things possible!
Simply wrap a piece of 12 x 12 or similar-sized patterned paper around your hand to make a cone, secure the edges with double-sided tape, and fill with back-to-school treats.