Whether you love April Fools' Day or hate it, there's something
irresistible about a timeless, classic prank. Meant to be silly and
not at all mean-spirited, a good old-fashioned April Fools' joke is
almost always good for a laugh—especially when it's kid-friendly!
But you have to start pranking your kids while they're young,
before friends and life experience and hilarious practical joke
Internet videos completely ruin the element of surprise.
Come on, haven't your kids done some ridiculous things? Snuck a
rubber snake into your purse to scare you? Told you they got straight
F's on their report card in the hopes of freaking you out? Lost a
tooth and claimed they swallowed it? Touched you with a suspiciously
wet hand and said they forgot to wash up after a trip to the
Here are 10 simple April Fools' pranks you can pull on your
kids—some that might seem familiar and some that might be new—along
with the pros and cons of attempting each. You could even try to
trick your spouse, but keep in mind that they might be into revenge, too.
1. Super Soaker
Put rubber bands around the handle of your
sink sprayer nozzle so it's automatically in spray mode. Make sure
it's pointing out, and the next person to turn on the faucet gets
PRO: Spraying water everywhere might end up getting a few nearby
kitchen surfaces clean-ish.
CON: Good luck getting your kids to ever wash their hands again.
2. Mighty Minty Cookies
Take some Oreos apart, scrape out the
crème filling (better go ahead and eat it so there's no evidence!),
replace it with white mint toothpaste, and reassemble the cookies. If
this sounds like it might taste halfway decent, believe me, IT DOES
PRO: Might make the kids wary of eating your cookies in the
CON: Might also make them wary of brushing their teeth.
3. Tissue Toes
Ball up some tissues and stuff them in the
toes of their shoes; see how long it takes them to figure out why
they suddenly don't fit.
PRO: If you pull this prank, it means you actually know where a
pair of your kid's shoes are! Congrats!
CON: If you pull this prank, it means you actually have to put
your hand inside your kid's smelly shoes.
4. Caramel Onions
Did you know if you jab a stick into an
onion and dip it into melted caramel, it looks exactly like a caramel
apple? You do now, but I bet your kids don't—until they take a
PRO: Yay, they ate a vegetable!
CON: Admittedly, this is kind of a waste of perfectly delicious caramel.
5. Noisy Entrance
Set up an air horn behind a door so that
when it's opened, the doorknob presses the trigger and blasts the
entire neighborhood with a 150-decibel surprise.
PRO: It'll blow out your eardrums, too, so you won't be able to
hear them complain about the prank.
CON: Now they'll really never take you seriously when you
want them to be quiet.
6. REALLY Cold Cold Cereal
Fill a bowl with water and
stick it in the freezer. The morning of April 1st, pour enough of
their favorite cereal in the bowl to cover the top of the ice, and
giggle as they try to dig in.
PRO: Bent spoons are a great way to justify buying new silverware.
CON: They'll probably guilt you into cooking them a hot breakfast
to make up for the trick.
7. Balloon Pit
Fill your kid's room with balloons while
they're at school. Close the door and be ready to record their reaction when they get home.
CON: You'll probably hyperventilate way before your kid gets off the school bus.
8. Overnight Switch-a-roo
While your kids are sleeping,
ever-so-gently pick them up and put them in each other's beds. Make
sure you're there when they wake up so you can witness the looks on
PRO: If you can pull this off, being a stealthy Tooth Fairy should
be a breeze.
CON: They might get paranoid about waking up in an unfamiliar
place—as if you didn't already have enough trouble getting them to
9. Cheesy Breakfast Trick
In a clear pitcher, mix water with
a packet of powdered cheese from a box of macaroni and cheese. At
breakfast, offer the kids some refreshing "orange juice."
PRO: Hey, hydration is hydration.
CON: That box of mac and cheese was probably the only thing in the
house they would have willingly eaten.