10 of the easiest April Fools’ pranks to play on the kids this year

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RELATED: Joe Scarpelli speaks with Vivek Astvansh, Associate Professor of Marketing at McGill University to discuss the impacts of AI this April Fools' Day – Apr 1, 2024

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April Fools’ can be controversial for parents, especially when pranks are mean-spirited or insensitive. However, April 1 can also be an opportunity to execute harmless pranks that teach kids the difference while developing their sense of humour.

Studies have shown that humour can help kids to think in unconventional ways while helping them to become more spontaneous, happier and optimistic. So why not seize the day and serve up an easy prank or two this April 1? Need ideas? We’ve got a few below.

Freeze their breakfast

If your kids eat cereal, this is an easy one. The night before, pour cereal and milk as you usually would. Then, pop the bowls with a spoon into the freezer overnight (ensure the bowls are freezer-safe first!). In the morning, serve some frozen cereal and wait for your kids’ reactions.
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Things come to life

Another super easy prank kids will love to imitate all year long is making inanimate objects come to life with googly eyes. All you need is a bag of adhesive googly eyes and you can bring anything — fruit, the milk carton, a lamp, or a favourite toy — to life.


Make brown Es

This prank is a classic but a goodie. Tell kids you’ve made brownies and are about to pull them out of the oven. The oven will be off, of course, and inside, you’ll have a baking sheet full of brown, cut-out E shapes.


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Balloon burst

If your kid sleeps with the door closed (and doesn’t tend to go to the washroom much at night), construct a quick balloon wall outside their door. When they wake up, they’ll come face-to-face with balloons. Alternatively, you could build a balloon doorway to another room of the house or fill a drawer or closet full of helium balloons to surprise your child with.


Fun seeds

Kids like planting things that grow, but what if you gave them some “donut” or “gumdrop” seeds instead? All you need is an empty seed packet. Then, create a label, put Cheerios or treats inside, and pretend you’re going to plant them. (Bonus points if you grab veggie seeds to set aside and plant with the kids later this spring.)


Spaghetti worms


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This prank works with any meal, but it’s especially fun with spaghetti. Serve breakfast, lunch or dinner as usual, then top plates off with a pretend worm or two. If you grab realistic ones, you can use them as fishing lures this summer, too.


House for sale


This prank is better for older kids who can read and understand the joke immediately. Put a fake For Sale sign in front of the house overnight, then pretend you’re moving. Rather than playing it straight, make it clear it’s a joke with a funny phone number like 1-800-FOOLED-YOU.


Dirty water

Make bath time or teeth-brushing time extra interesting with dirty water from the faucet. Just rub a few drops of brown food colouring under the spout so that when the water runs, it looks brown. Alternatively, you could use extra Easter egg dye tablets and give kids a colourful bath. 
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Serve a sponge cake


Cake for dinner? What kid wouldn’t love that? Of course, you’re not serving cake but a tray of sponges with whipped cream. If you do this one, consider setting aside a real treat once the gag is over.
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Pretend birthday

After the kids go to bed on March 31, decorate the house with a banner and balloons and pretend the next day is their birthday. Take it a step further by wrapping up an empty box and giving them a “present,” too.


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Five other easy gags to have fun with the kids

These spiders are fun, harmless and can go anywhere for a little gag. Think ice cubes, on plates of food, crawling from a toothbrush, and more.


Food that looks real but squishes in a kid-friendly way? Always a hit. These bananas look incredibly real, and the kids love pranking other children (and adults!) with them every chance they get. Just don’t let kids bite into them.



Whoopee cushions are another classic prank kids always love. Just be sure that you’re okay with fart sounds around the house for the next few weeks before purchasing.
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We all know kids are obsessed with poop, so why fight it? Pretend poop is another easy April Fools’ prank to pull off, whether you put it on a potty or a pillow. Stick to “poop” that looks fake though, otherwise kids might try to prank you with the real stuff one day.


A can of “chips” that explodes into a snake is always a hit with kids. Pack these in a school lunch or present them as an after-school snack, then wait for the giggles.


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