Skip to main content

April Fools’ pranks that make you the cool parent, not a terrible one 

With April Fools’ Day right around the corner, now may be a great time to start planning some fun and silly pranks to play on your littles — without causing hurt feelings or tears. After all, laughter is the best medicine, or so the saying goes. After the long and sometimes bitterly cold winter months, some bright and cheery activities might just be the ticket!

Whether your kids are jokesters and love to be silly, or perhaps you’re a more serious family — who enjoys a good laugh every now and then — these clean and simple pranks leave nothing but laughter behind and don’t take too much time to set up. Make some memories, enjoy a giggle with your brood, and start a new tradition with some of our “out of the box” style of April Fools’ Day pranks that will have your kiddos smiling for days.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

That looks delicious … or does it?

If you have ever planned a prank before, or any other kind of April Fools’ jokes, you know there is certain level of trickery involved. When you fool your “victim” into thinking or going along with the prank, there is a certain level of skill required to trick them into believing what you are doing or saying is honest or true. One of the best ways to prank someone, without them getting too suspicious, is with food. The receiver is usually unsuspecting, making it simple to do. A few fun and child-friendly options for food-related pranks are:

  • Freezing their morning cereal: If your kids enjoy a bowl of cereal each morning before heading off to school, why not give them a good laugh to go along with it? Pour their regular morning cereal in a bowl, pour over milk, add a spoon, and carefully place the bowl in the freezer. (This should be done the night before for optimal laughs.)
  • Add googly eyes!: Adding a few peel-back googly eyes to your milk cartons and orange juice containers can elicit laughs and smiles almost immediately.
  • Make a batch of brown E’s: Everyone loves brownies! Using construction paper or brown felt, trace and cut out lots of shapes of the letter E and place them into a baking dish. Then, ask your littles if they would like a “brown E.” (You may want to make up a batch of replacement brownies just in case.)
  • Mint Oreos: Who doesn’t love Oreos? If your kids are a fan of the chocolate/creme cookies, an innocent and silly prank to play on them would be to open the Oreos, remove the cream filling, and replace it with mint-flavored toothpaste. (Bonus points if the toothpaste is totally white, giving the appearance of real Oreo cookies.)
Bychykhin Olexandr/Shutterstock

Some of these things are not like the other

Sometimes, when it comes to kids, the best method of a good prank is just a KISS — keep it simply silly! Forget tedious prank setups and waiting for the perfect moment; keep it simply and silly with easy-to-do and wholesome pranks that will have your kids looking forward to April 1 every year. A few of our favorites are:

  • Room swap: If your child is a heavy sleeper, consider swapping out their room’s furniture or swapping sides of the room to confuse your kids upon waking. Even if they aren’t a heavy sleeper, you could easily adapt this prank by only moving smaller or lighter items.
  • Time’s up!: Pushing the clock backward or forward an hour or two can really throw them off, especially if it’s done closer to bedtime.
  • TP messages: Adding a silly note or funny phrase to your toilet paper roll can really take it up a notch. Just unravel the roll of toilet paper, write a note on the paper, then roll it back up and wait for the message to be discovered!
  • Stuck on you: If your child is a remote-stealer, adding a strip of tape to the remote’s sensor can have them searching for answers for as long or as little as you keep up pretenses on your prank.

April Fools’ Day is an exciting and energized way of expressing humor but can sometimes go too far. As parents, we are more than able to have fun with our kids, but without hurting their feelings or causing undo stress or anxiety. Introducing fun and innocent practical jokes can liven any household, and they can even open the door to your own child’s imagination for building laughter and humor in their own lives.

From food dupes to silly bathroom messages, we hope to guide parents in having fun with their kids. At the end of the day, making lasting memories and experiencing belly laughs that last all night are moments that you wouldn’t trade for a million dollars. So, grab some supplies, synchronize your watches, and get creative today.

Editors' Recommendations

Emily Pidgeon
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Emily's work has appeared in the Tube City Almanac, Tube City Online and our Affinity Sites. When she's not writing, she is…
The best Halloween costumes for a family of 4 that are simple to find or create
Halloween themes for your crew of four
Family of four dressed in Halloween costumes.

Dressing up for Halloween as a family is a bonding experience your kids will remember forever. Plus, it might get you guys the good candy for being the cutest family out trick-or-treating. Whether you have little ones or older kids, there are a variety of group costume ideas to get the whole family in the spooky spirit. Check out some of the best Halloween costumes for a family of four that will make your crew the neighborhood celebrities on All Hallows' Eve.

Dress up as your favorite animated or movie family
Use being a family of four to your advantage by looking up families that feature four or more members, then each family member could pick their favorite character and bring the beloved show or movie to life. Let the little kids pick out their favorite show or see if the parents want to throw it back to a movie they grew up with.
Iconic animated families to recreate

Read more
Fun fall bucket list activities to do with kids
While waiting for cooler weather, look over the ultimate fall bucket list every child will want to complete
A family enjoying lying in the leaves.

Fall is here, and we are bursting to tell you about some amazingly fun things to do with your kids during what we think is the most wonderful time of the year. Sorry, Christmas. From the gorgeous colors that make every picture Insta-worthy to the fact that everything doesn’t turn into a sweaty mess — it's all fabulous.

Planning fall activities kids want to do is one of our favorite things to do! While we wait for the weather to get just right, check out this fall bucket list of awesome activities that kids and parents will both love to do.

Read more
The best party games for your sports-loving kids
These best party games score big with sports lovers
Kids running with each other at a party.

Got a sport-loving kid with a birthday coming up? Hosting a sports themed birthday party for your kiddo is a super easy way to score a touchdown. Whether you've got a kickball fanatic or a budding soccer star on your hands, choosing the birthday party theme for your sports fan is a lot easier than scoring in a shootout. There are tons of sports party games that are a slam dunk.  You don't have to stick to one sport either when choosing the activities for your little one's big day. From soccer-themed games to kickball games to an Olympic theme, there are a ton of options for all your guests whether you are hosting indoors or out. Now, let's hear the starting lineup for the best party games.
Sports party kickoff
Before we get to the best sports party games to knock it out of the park to celebrate your child's special day, let's not forget about the warmup. It's a big part of any sport as all athletes know. So, a fun way to get all the kids excited about a sports-themed birthday party is to kick it off with a warmup.

Have an adult dress up as the coach and lead the kids in some useful and silly stretches. Play upbeat music to pump them up. The theme from Rocky is a timeless choice. Then, have the coach give the partygoers tips for the games ahead before concluding with an introduction with a cheer for the birthday guy or gal.

Read more