April Fools’ Day probably stirs up fond memories of playing tricks on your siblings, sharing wildly untrue stories with your friends or even pulling a few fast ones on your parents. Even now, as parents ourselves, we’re still overcome with childlike joy come April 1 as we watch our little ones hatch mischievous plans of their own.
But here’s the thing: Us parents want to get in on the action, too! So, we’ve compiled a list of fairly simple and totally harmless jokes you can play on your kids this year that we promise will be entertaining for the whole family. (Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the hilarity!)
1. Toothpaste Oreos
Pretty much every kid loves Oreo cookies; and, assuming your kids are like most kids, cookies get grabbed and devoured without much thought. Which makes Oreos the perfect vehicle for parental shenanigans. Removing the filling and replacing it with white toothpaste in advance could be a tad time-consuming but it’ll be worth it when your kids take a big ol’ bite of spearmint. Bonus: You get to eat all the real filling ahead of time!
2. Immovable countertop items
Use double-sided tape or foam squares on the bottom of everyday items that you know your kids will try to pick up: a water glass, toothpaste, a hairbrush, body spray, you name it! It’s the perfect way to get the April Fools’ Day morning started. (See No. 3 for a great morning prank to follow this one!)
3. Frozen cereal
If you’ve got a cereal-for-breakfast kid, this is the prank for you. Put his/her favourite cereal (with milk) in a bowl and freeze overnight. Bring it to them at the table on April Fools’ morning and make sure to have the cameras rolling! With any luck, your little one will make multiple attempts at digging the spoon in and offer up many picture-perfect looks of disdain once they realize you’ve sabotaged breakfast.
4. Shrunken shoes
This simple prank is great for the younger ones (we’re guessing the older ones might be less than impressed, however). Stuff toilet paper into the ends of their closed-toe shoes and watch their confusion as they try (and fail) to cram their feet in. The prank is made all the better, of course, when you play up the fact that their feet must have grown overnight!
5. TV remote fail
Use black tape to cover up the sensors on your TV remote and enjoy the frustration that ensues when your kids can’t get the darn thing to work. Feel free to encourage them to change the batteries, just try not to smirk too much in the process! The beauty of this basic trick: You’ll probably have the same satisfying success with your spouse.
6. Cheetos surprise
There’s no denying that food-related pranks are hilarious, and this trick is no exception. Carefully open a bag of Cheetos and remove them (read: eat them) and then add baby carrots back into the bag. Reseal the bag with glue and put it in your kids’ lunch bag for school the next day. Warning: You might end up with a pretty disappointed kid, so be sure to have some actual Cheetos on hand for damage control.
7. Faulty bar of soap
Fast forward to the end of April Fools’ Day, when your little ones think they’re taking a harmless bath. Prepare a bar of soap in advance by coating it in clear nail polish and letting it dry. Much to their confusion (and your enjoyment), the soap won’t create any suds. Success!
8. “For sale” sign
Go ahead and have fun with this one! Just put a “for sale” sign out on the lawn and be sure to have a story about where/why/when your family will be making the move (the more detailed, the better). Want to go the extra mile? Have some moving boxes half packed up already! At the very least, your kids will surely be confused about the sudden plans.
9. The food is watching
This one is less of a prank and more just generally hilarious. Buy a pack of different-sized googly eyes from the dollar store and then proceed to humanize everything in the fridge. The best thing about this is that it’s the April Fools’ gift that keeps on giving: your whole family will smile every time they open the fridge for as long as those eyes stay in place!