I am a sucker for a good prank. I think children crave a bit of mischievousness. When supervised by adults, this side of them can be channeled into something positive. April Fool’s Day is a great day to do this. Here are some light-hearted jokes you might play on your kids–and ones you might conspire with them to play on adults.
1. Tape all over a door
My daughter and I did this to her then 5-year-old brother. We asked him to stay in his room, not come out, and we put blue masking tape all over it, like a spider web. Super funny! It’s easy to set up and delights any child.
2. Put balloons filled with helium in a box for them to open
So, learn from my mistake. We originally filled up helium balloons the night before. In the morning, by the time the kids opened the box, the helium had drained such that the balloons didn’t float. I would recommend filling up the balloons within a few hours before you do this, making it a bit trickier to pull off. This one is simple and easily delights even toddlers.
3. Boxes inside boxes
You’ve probably seen this one. You wrap a big box but inside is a smaller box. Inside this box is yet a smaller box. I always thought it was funny. My daughter called me “evil” for doing it to her, hahaha. (My daughter went on to be the child most enthusiastic about April Fools Day jokes).
4. Funny faces everywhere
I found this from a daycare worker. She said “by far” it was her favorite joke. She put googly eyes all over for children to find. They open a door or get a snack–and googly eyes with a funny face are looking at them. I didn’t have googly eyes (or a working printer) so I got pen and paper and drew them:
I really liked this one. About everything in child development is being seen. What could communicate this better than funny, delightful faces just sort of being with you and seeing you all day? My kids all saw them and then didn’t say anything. Then it was, “What are ….these faces doing everywhere?” When they realized it was a thing, and they weren’t the only ones seeing them, it was pretty funny. There is no risk in doing too many faces. When they realize what is going on, they will look all over for faces.
5. Chocolate covered brussel sprout
My daughter asked me to help her pull this prank on her dad. Shhhh, we haven’t done it yet! It was really fun learning how to pull it off. We got to learn how to melt chocolate, get popsicle sticks, etc. I melted chocolate chips in a mason jar in a crockpot of water on high for 30-60 minutes. It worked well.
I loved how this unleashed creativity in my children. My son one year woke up and told me he was 10. That was his joke! My daughter was especially good at this. At 5, she found cake crumbles on the floor, brought her dad over, and dramatically asked, “IS THAT MOUSE POOP!?”
Hahaha. Misbehavior is Growth!