Although adults tend to have almost too much fun with April Fools' Day, we all know that it's the holiday meant for kids to really reach their stride with humor. While it might be tempting to teach your kids about the types of antics that involve large scale pranks, we all know that it's best to stick to the more low key, harmless stuff. At least for now. And what better way to indoctrinate your kids into the fool's holiday than to play some pranks on them to get them in the spirit, right?
We've compiled some of the best age appropriate April Fools' Day pranks to play with your kid, but also to put them on the receiving end as well. Because there’s no way to learn, but to experience some of it yourself, and as a parent, it's your job to be your kid's first lesson in pranking and being a good sport. And also of learning when to expect it coming for you.
10 Freeze Them Out
Not really. More like, freeze their entire breakfast before they make it to the table in the morning. It might get a little tricky if you try to accomplish this with, say, eggs or sausage, as they won't really do the "trick." But if you try freezing a bowl of cereal with a spoon in it, along with a nice glass of orange juice, you will definitely have your kids furrowing their brows in confusion until the bus arrives.
9 Break Out The Googley Eyes
As in, glue a pair onto each and every item in your refrigerator. Nothing like several pairs of creepy plastic eyes staring back at you to freak them out every time they open the door for a snack. Better yet, take the eyes to the pantry as well, giving your kids little chance to get away from their suddenly alive-looking food and drinks. It might not be the most fun prank to "take down" the next day, and you might even find yourself staring into the lifeless eyes of an egg a week from now, but it's an easy and harmless one that works.
8 Do The Old Switcheroo
If you have more than one kid, and you're lucky enough to have heavy sleepers, then carefully switch them into each other's beds while they're sleeping. Have an only child? Transfer them to the living room couch and watch them wake up in total confusion. Take it a step further and act just as shocked as them, telling them you woke up in their bed and have no idea how that happened either. Though we don't think you could keep it going without at least cracking a smile to give you away.
7 Sell Your House
Okay, not really, of course. But this is one your kids can get in on with you. Trick your partner into thinking a big decision happened while they were away at work and, with the help of your kids, put up a "for sale" sign in your front yard. You can even add a "sold" sticker over that to really confuse them. We can't promise that your kids will be able to let the joke run for more than a few blissful minutes, but they'll still love you for including them in on it.
6 Mess With Their Food (Again!)
Again, this is one that centers on their food, but also one that they can help you with to prank a sibling or another member of your family. The night before, wrap each part of their packed lunch in wrapping paper. That's right - that means their banana, sandwich, juice box, and Twinkie, too. Bonus points if you can scrounge up some of that Christmas wrapping paper to really throw them off.
5 Scare The Pee Out Of Them - Literally
Okay, this one may not be the nicest thing to do to your kids, but April Fools' Day isn't about being the sweetest parent alive. For just one day, you get to be the silliest version of you, and have an excuse to do it. So go crazy, right? For this prank, find a photo of a monster or otherwise scary picture online, print it out, and tape it on the inside of your toiler so that when your kid opens the lid, they're faced with the picture right away. We won't say there won't be any mess to clean up directly following that, but come on, it'll be so worth it.
4 Get Them As Soon As They Open Their Bedroom Door In The Morning
This one is sure to wake them right up, but in the best way possible. Once you're sure they're out the night before, close their bedroom door and cover the space between the frame and the door with crisscrossed, loose streamers. Then, insert as many air-filled balloons into that space as possible. When your kid opens their door in the morning, they'll get a mini balloon avalanche. And get an idea to get you back with for next year, too.
3 Channel Your Inner Jim Halpert, From 'The Office'
This means breaking out all of the boxes of instant Jell-O that you can manage and putting as much stuff into Jell-O molds as you can without ruining it. Their hairbrush? Check. Calculator that they shouldn't even be using for homework anyway? Double check. The calculator can be put in a sandwich baggy first to protect it, but pulling out Jell-O molds of your kid's stuff will make them seriously speechless.
2 Make Them Work For It
This is another one that they may come back with next year to put you through, so beware. Just take a few quarters or even larger denomination coins, and glue them to the ground outside. Then, watch your kid try to grab that free money over and over until they finally realize that they've been gotten by their parent once again. And then, feel cool that you tricked them. You earned that right.
1 Make A Mess Of Your Own
We've all had at least something ruined by our kids because of harmless accidents. And we've likely gotten over them quickly because, well, they're kids. But give them a taste of their own medicine and feign a spilled glass of milk or vial of nail polish on their laptop or iPad. All you need to do is take a sheet of wax paper and pour glue (to act as milk) or the contents of your nail polish container onto the sheet in a classic "splatter" shape. Wait for it to dry and carefully cut the paper around the shape. And there you have it, your reusable fake "spill" prop to use over and over. Which you know you will.