April Fools Day is next week and these kinds of holidays always have my fun mom side battling my practical mom side.
I mean, I love to do fun things with my kids.
I also don’t want to spend hours preparing for a 30 second prank.
I also hate mean pranks and I hate gross pranks.
Also, April fools pranks for my kids that results in a bunch of mess that you, the parent, have to clean up? Hard pass. I am not even remotely that kind of fun mom.
So. . . here are 10 April Fools pranks for kids that give you a lot of bang for your buck and meet all my ridiculous criteria for April Fools pranks.
10 Easy April Fools Pranks to Play on Your Kids
- Superglue a coins to the ground. If your children are anything like mine, they’ll be super excited just to find a penny. If you want to go big, put out a quarter or two on your driveway or sidewalk.
- Stick googly eyes on the food inside the fridge. How fun is it to open the fridge and find your milk staring back at you? You can get a pack of 30 sets of eye balls in various sizes for $6 and they peel and stick so you don’t even have to hunt down a glue stick.
- Put a surprise in the mailbox. Grab a favorite stuffed animal or a plastic bug or something fun and pop it in the mailbox and then send them out to get the mail.
- After they’re asleep, switch your kids to different beds. I have some children that are DEEP sleepers (and some that aren’t), so this might work. And would be hilarious.
- Replace Cheetos with carrot sticks. This is probably the most involved April Fools prank on this list, but it’s still pretty darn simple. Open a personal size bag of Cheetos from the bottom, dump out the Cheetos (into your own mouth, if you wish), and then put in carrot sticks and carefully glue the bottom closed again.
- Put a helium balloon inside the toilet and close the lid. When they open the toilet in the morning, the ballon will pop out. Bonus points if you write “April Fools!” on the balloon, but no need to go crazy.
- Put a sheet of bubble wrap under a bath or door mat. My girls would flip over this since, like most kids, they are obsessed with bubble wrap.
- Put Sprite in their water bottle. If your child takes a water bottle to school, swap out the water for Sprite. My children would think they’d died and gone to heaven after the initial shock.
- Draw a mustache or big eyebrows on your child’s face while they’re sleeping. Most kids don’t even look in the mirror for a while, so you can get a quiet laugh out of watching them walk around obliviously.
- Seal their bedroom door with plastic wrap or wrapping paper. When they open the door in the morning, they’ll be greeted with a good little surprise.
Do you play April Fools pranks on your kids? What have been your best ones?
(And my most memorable April Fools Day was when I was in college and the girls next door went ALL out, including making my roommate nearly have a heart attack).
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Photos by Heather Mildenstein
As a 30-something professional, I can also say that the googly eye prank is great for the office too. I like to put them on my coworkers’ phones or computers or even their desk lamps. It’s always fun and nobody gets sent to the HR office!
Janssen Bradshaw says
Oh I love this!
Seconding the googly eye prank for the office. They also turn filing cabinets into cutely bewildered creatures if you put the eyes above the drawer handles. (I also googly eye-d my violin professor’s office when I was in grad school. Three years later, the eyes are still on various things in her office. It’s great.)
I think I’ll try the googly eyes-fun and easy! My all time favorite April Fool’s prank was buying donuts, taking them out of the box and replacing with veggies. Kids were pretty upset until I showed them where I had stashed the donuts, then the laughter came.
Danette Guertin says
I’m going to googly eye my grown daughters food the day we leave her house next month.
I have boy/girls twins and when they were 4 months old we moved across the world. For their first birthday, April 6th, we came home to celebrate and dressed them in opposite clothes to see their meemaw again for the first time in a year, on April 1st. She didn’t have a clue and it was perrfect. Obviously this only works with twin babies. But the best! My boy was actually super adorable in his sister’s clothes. He’s lucky I didn’t continue to dress him that way!
Janssen Bradshaw says
This is so funny!
Ashley Pullen says
My older sister let me sleep on her bedroom floor when I was little. I was in a sleeping bag, and she drug me into the bathroom. She’s always been a prankster– but some of them have become mean and gross. I’m with you. I’m all about the fun and silly pranks that aren’t messy. I need to stock up on googley eyes!
My dads family has always had an April Fools spaghetti dinner going on 40+ years.
Swap out traditional plates, cups, forks with whatever else in the kitchen: a muffin tin, a vase, and a spatula, etc. Cover the funny settings with another tablecloth, sit down, uncover giggle and good luck!
Shae Lynn Watt says
This sounds like something my kids would LOVE. Going to try it 🙂
Samia Osayed says
suuuch cute ideas!!!!! now i am tempted to try them all!!!!!!
Alicia Langstraat says
I also don’t like messes or a ton of prep. I didn’t do anything for April Fool’s until I started the mustaches-in-sleep trick maybe 3 years ago. Problem is, now my kids expect it so it’s not as fun! Last night, I tried changing it up by drawing a lightning scar and Harry Potter glasses on my oldest, a kitty-cat nose and whiskers on one daughter, dark eyebrows and freckles on the other. My son wiped his off first thing and just said to me, “Really?” Daughter #2 had a meltdown (“I haaaaate dark eyebrows!”). First daughter did keep hers on for school. I didn’t even get pictures.
The more fun-loving daughter said she’d make breakfast and put extra salt on the pancakes. No one was impressed. So we weren’t feeling very festive this morning! #zerofunsir
I’ll have to try the balloon in the toilet trick!
We swapped our kiddos after they fell asleep and it was a total fail. About 2am my 4 year old work up screaming at his brother to get out of his bed. When I tried to tell him it was a joke he said it wasn’t funny and that it was his bed. We had to swap them back before he would go back to sleep. 🤣 It still made me laugh even if my 4 year old didn’t enjoy it. I still remember being amazing when I’d fall asleep on a couch and end up back in my bed by morning.
Linnae Harper says
We did the googly eye trick one year. The kids still talk about it! Another great one–you pour jello into clear cups and let it set up (where the kids can’t see it–back of the fridge). At one of your meals, put those out at each place like a cup of juice. When they try to drink it, it just sticks in the bottom of the cup! HAHAHA! Plus, they get to just eat the jello after, so no hard feelings.
The google eyes would be cute for the food in the their lunch boxes too. You could do it on a boiled egg for example. These are great ideas.
I love this list! Thank you for sharing!!
Emily Cook says
A fav of mine is to our a drop of gel food coloring in their toothbrush then when they brush their teeth it will be a color instead
Janssen Bradshaw says
oh this is genius!
Fun list! I do an April fool’s Easter egg hunt most years with my kids. I fill eggs with random stuff around the house like dryer lint, a Lego, cotton ball etc. Their reactions are hilarious and they seem to forget every year!😁
We do ice cream for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. My kids look forward to ice cream for breakfast all year.
Last year, we had our kids plant cheerios. Later, we set donuts where the cheerios were buried, and they haven’t stopped asking “how many days until April fools?!” Almost daily since last year. They loved growing donuts 🍩😂
Janssen Bradshaw says
okay, this is SO FUN!