Do you love pranking your kids or just want to prank your kids for April Fool’s Day? It can be difficult to come up with a prank that will give both you and your kids a laugh while still being age-appropriate.
How to Prank Someone
Pranking someone is a delicate balance between surprising the person and upsetting them. You don’t ever want to prank someone in a way that could permanently damage any property or has the potential to hurt someone. In general, here are some rules for how to prank someone correctly:
- The prank should be temporary. Even if the prank is momentarily inconvenient, it should be easy for the pranked person to put everything right again in a short amount of time. Avoid pranks that require hours of clean-up for a moment or two of pay-off to avoid annoying the person getting pranked.
- The prank shouldn’t hurt anyone. Be careful not to pull pranks or practical jokes that might accidentally hurt somebody. It’s one thing to get a screaming surprised reaction out of someone, it’s another to accidentally cause them to trip and fall down the stairs. Make sure your prank isn’t a safety risk.
- The prank shouldn’t embarrass anyone. Light teasing is okay of course, but don’t pull pranks on sensitive people or kids who might not have the sense of humor to appreciate them. Choose pranking victims that are relatively laid-back and calm towards surprises.
Kids and other people can often learn to appreciate the good humor behind a prank or practical joke as long as they aren’t humiliated with them. This is why it’s so important to keep the spirit of any prank you pull good-natured and not malicious. Nobody should feel bullied by a prank, everyone should end the interaction laughing.
How to Prank Your Friends
Your friends are one of the best groups of people for you to pull pranks on. Friends are usually more forgiving of practical jokes than any other group of people you might know, so a prank against a friend will usually be more well-received than pranks performed at your work or with prickly family members.
To get a good prank by your friends, try following these tips:
- Keep a straight face. If you start snickering halfway through the setup of your practical joke, your friend will likely guess that something is up and you won’t get the full force of their surprise when the prank is pulled. Keep your face serious to avoid giving away any hint of your joke ahead of schedule.
- Use their routine. If you know your friend always sits in the same place when you’re hanging out, you can use this information to place a whoopie cushion or some other prank in that place. Pulling off a good prank on your friends takes a little creativity.
- Be patient. Sometimes it takes a little time to set up the perfect prank, so you have to be willing to be patient and wait for the right time.
Friends are always a fun target for a harmless prank, but it’s a good idea to choose friends with a somewhat mellow personality. People who are high-strung or don’t like surprises may not react well to a prank no matter how well-intentioned it is.
Funny Pranks for Kids
Pranks are an especially fun pastime to take up with kids since it can be a good-natured way for siblings to take a jab at each other, especially if your house is involved in a prank war. Some fun pranks for kids would involve safe pranks and involve common household items so that they’re easy to pull off. These are a few examples of some fun pranks for kids:
- Sleeping mustache prank: Be sure to use washable markers for this little joke. Kids and adults can draw a mustache on a sleeping person and see how long it takes them to notice when they get up in the morning. This is a great prank for kids to pull at sleepovers on any kid who falls asleep early.
- Filling a room with balloons: This is an especially good prank to go along with surprise parties since it can do double-time as decorations for the party afterward. It’s fun for kids to open a closed door only to have a giant wave of rainbow-colored balloons come rolling out.
- Water cups prank: This prank can be a little messy, but it’s worth it (and kids love to make a mess anyway). Fill up a bunch of small paper cups with water and put them all in front of a doorway. Now stand back and watch as someone walks through the door and splashes their way through the cups!
Pranking can be a fun activity to undertake with kids because it helps teach them the difference between good-natured and malicious types of humor. It also teaches those kids who are pranked how to react with good humor rather than getting upset.
April Fool’s Pranks for Kids
One of the best opportunities to introduce kids to fun ideas for pranks is on April Fool’s Day. This day is the universal holiday for practical jokes, and it can be a fun way to start a harmless prank war in your home with your kids.
These are just a couple of hilarious April Fool’s Day pranks you can play with your kids:
- Create glitter bombs. Filling letter envelopes with glitter and giving them out to unsuspecting people is the prank that keeps on giving, as long as you don’t mind still finding sparkles everywhere six months later.
- Fake smartphone cracks: Since a lot of kids own tablets and smartphones too, this is a prank that works as well on them as it does on adults. You can download a wallpaper for the smart device with fake cracks in it, then sit back and watch the totally-temporary panic set in.
- Put a whoopie cushion under their chair: Whoopie cushions are one of the most popular prank accessories since everybody finds farts funny. Place one of these rubber bladders under a couch cushion for a loud and hilarious surprise later on.
These are just a handful of the fun pranks you could potentially pull with (or on) your kids next April Fool’s Day. Just don’t be surprised if they get the idea to enact some practical joke revenge!
The pranks for kids on this list are excellent for all ages, and most of them will only take you a minute or two to set up, which means you’ll probably have time to pull off more than one! And if you have multiple children, you can help them to try these harmless pranks on each other.
The Best Pranks To Play On Your Kids
1. Leave Fake Bugs Around
This hoax is an oldie, but a goodie, as most kids won’t look close enough to notice the bug is fake. For best results, pick up a few fake cockroaches like these on Fake Bugs, or maybe a fake spider if that’s the critter you see most commonly in your home. Then leave the bugs in commonly touched places, like maybe by your kid’s toothbrush, or on the toilet paper roll, and wait for their reaction!
2. Kids Underwear Prank
Grab a needle and a thin thread, then pull it through all of the underwear (or all of the socks) in your child’s drawer when they aren’t paying attention. Then, the next time they go to get dressed, they will end up pulling all their underwear out at once! This works especially well if your kid keeps a messy underwear drawer. But if your children are organized, you could use this idea from Mommy Poppins and also swap all of one kids’ underwear for another kid’s or parent’s and see how long it takes them to figure it out!
3. Replace The Toilet Paper
Imagine your child’s surprise when they go to use the toilet paper and there is something else there instead! You can either buy fake toilet paper which won’t tear like this one featured on The Rocket, or you can get creative and place a roll of duct tape on the toilet paper holder. Just make sure you’re nearby when you pull this prank so you can come to the rescue with the real roll when they discover they’ve been pranked.
4. Draw A Mustache On Your Kid
This is another prank for kids that has been around for generations, but is still fun to pull! Wait until your child is in a deep sleep, such as in the middle of the night, and draw a mustache on their face. Then it’s time to see how long it takes until they notice it! You may even want to be creative and add glasses or a beard like in this picture on Love and Laundry.
5. Chip Prank
If it’s hard to keep a can of chips around in your house, then this kid’s prank will be easy for you to execute. Simply keep an empty chip can, and fill it with something that will spring out when your child opens it. You can create something yourself using spring and cloth, or you can order a prank chip canister like this one on Toy Kid Mama.
6. Balloon Door Prank
The balloon door prank is a good idea to pull on older children, who may be accustomed to watching for your pranks every April Fool’s Day. For this prank, you will need to blow up multiple balloons so that they are full enough to pop under pressure, then use tape to attach them to the backside of a door your child will open. If it is a door that typically isn’t opened completely, make sure you tape them closer to the hinge so that even a partial opening of the door will make them pop and scare your child. You can also place the balloons in different spots like this example in A Subtle Revelry.
7. Balloon Pillow Prank
If you are already buying balloons for the door prank, this is a second gag you can pull at the same time. Just blow up a few extra balloons while you are working on the above prank, but then instead of taping them to the door, remove the pillow from your child’s pillowcase and slip balloons inside. According to Kid’s Activities Blog, this is a great prank that you can help your younger child to pull on his or her older sibling.
8. Fake Broken Screen
The fake cracked screen prank for kids is quick and easy and can be done on any electronic device in the house. Start by googling ‘cracked screen’ on the device you wish to use for the hoax. Try to use a device you know your kid will use regularly. Download this picture and use it as your screensaver like this example in Family Days Tried and Tested Blog. This prank can additionally work on older teens who have their own phone, as long as you have the passcode and can do this quickly before your teen notices their phone is missing.
9. Swap Caramel Apples For Onions
This trick takes a little more preparation, but your child’s reaction will be worth it! Start by melting chocolate in a pot on the stove, and placing raw peeled onions on kebab sticks. Once the chocolate is melted, dip the onions in the chocolate until they are completely covered. At this point, you can add crushed nuts or sprinkles if you desire. Then place the onions on a pan covered in wax paper and refrigerate for thirty minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Playtivities recommends making real chocolate dipped apples at the same time, for you to eat, that way your children won’t be suspicious.
10. Pre-Slice A Banana
Have a banana lover at home? Anticipate when your child will want to ask for a banana, and just before that use a pin or toothpick to slice the banana through the peel. Then, when your child receives the banana and opens it, they will find it to be already sliced! You can make many small thin slices if you have time, or you can stick to a few thick slices like this example in Instructables.
11. Turn Your Child’s Backpack Inside-Out
The night before April Fool’s Day, wait until your child goes to sleep then take everything out of their backpack. Subsequently, turn the backpack inside out, then put everything back in. In the morning, they will be quite baffled at what happened. This prank works best when your children have simple backpacks with few pockets like this backpack pictured in Instructables.
12. Upside Down Juice
This prank is a little messy, therefore ensure that you are prepared to clean up the mess before you begin. Before breakfast time, take the juice your child normally drinks and fill a glass almost full with it. Then, place a piece of cardstock over the opening and flip the glass over. Set the glass and cardstock at your child’s place on the table, and slide the cardstock from under the glass. Invite your child to come to have breakfast and see what they do! You can also leave the juice out for an after-school beverage for your kids to find when they get home like this example in Old Orchard.
13. Fake Milk Prank
For children who start their day off with a glass of milk or with cereal, this prank will definitely have you laughing. This prank for kids will require that you have milk that comes in a glass jar or plastic carton (so that your kid can see the milk from the outside), or you will need to pour your child a glass. Start by adding unflavored powdered gelatin to a couple of tablespoons of water and stir until dissolved. You will then need to heat the milk on the stove or microwave, and add the gelatin mixture once it is warm. Place your concoction back in the carton, or your child’s glass, and leave it in the fridge for a few hours to set. As you can see, this prank takes a bit to set up, so Practical Jokes recommends setting this one up the night before if you plan to pull it at breakfast.
14. Pretend Cookies
Nothing quite goes with prank milk like prank cookies! Whip up a batch of these and your kids won’t know what hit them! The recipe can be found on Jacq’s Blog and calls for mashed potatoes and black beans, mixing them together to imitate the look of raw cookie dough. Place globs of the stuff on a cookie sheet a few inches away just like you would cookies, and toast them until they are golden brown. After they cool, serve to your child and watch for their reaction!
15. Adjust The Clocks
Ever wish you could have just one extra hour to yourself? This April Fool’s Day you can! Just wake up early (or stay up late) and move every clock in the house an hour later. This prank for kids is excellent for little ones who are just learning to tell time. For those with older children who have cell phones, this won’t work as well, but you can try adjusting the time on their cell phone and convincing them they are late to school! What’s great about this prank idea from Go Banking Rates is that it won’t cost you a dime to get your kids good and watch them panic until you give in and let them in on the fun.
16. Dribble Glass Prank
The dribble glass prank for kids can be difficult to pull without the right equipment. But if you have a dribble glass like this one on Foolish Gadgets, you can fill a glass with liquid and watch as it ends up on your child’s face and clothes instead! There is a DIY version of this trick, just take a plastic bottle that has already been partially consumed, and use a needle to poke holes in the plastic just above the liquid. Now, invite your child to enjoy a cool, refreshing beverage. This prank can get messy, so it’s better to do it with a drink that won’t leave stains!
17. Sponge Cake Prank
The sponge cake trick is one of the best fake food pranks for kids which will leave them not trusting the sweets you are serving them! Purchase a large yellow sponge and whatever color or flavor of icing you prefer. Cut the sponge into triangle cake shapes, extra points if you decide to make a double layer sponge cake like this one in Aww Sam. After that, use icing to make the slice of cake look real. You can also add sprinkles or any additional decorations you choose. Beware, these pieces of sponge cake look so authentic, you’ll be wanting the real thing as you pull this prank!
18. Confetti Ceiling Fan
The confetti ceiling fan prank will only work if you have a ceiling fan, and you live somewhere where it is warm enough for someone to want to use it in April. You additionally need to be aware that this prank will create a mess—but it is super fun and quick to pull! Just turn off the ceiling fan, and load the top of the blades with confetti. The next person to want to use the fan is in for a surprise! Instructables Living recommends pulling this prank when you are expecting a large group of people to get the most laughs!
19. Can Of Candy
This sweet April Fool’s prank for kids will have your child smiling from ear to ear! For this joke, you will need a can of fruit, preferably one with a pull tab top your child can open on their own, some hot glue, and sweet treats! To set it up, remove the bottom of the can with a manual can opener. Remove the fruit, rinse the can, and let it dry. Once it is dry, fill it with your child’s favorite candy, then glue it to the bottom back on with the hot glue. Then, place it back in the pantry or in your child’s lunch box for a prank they won’t forget! You can even take the time to add a cute note as this mother did in Come Together Kids.
20. TV Remote Prank
A Purple Bug offers us our final prank on the list is quick, easy, and best of all, leaves no mess. When your child isn’t looking, place a piece of clear plastic tape over the end of the remote with the sensor. Your child will click and click but the TV channel won’t change! If you or your partner is technologically inclined, you can download different apps on your phone which will let you control your TV directly from your phone. Just don’t tell your kids you’ve downloaded it and observe as they can’t figure out how the channel keeps changing on its own!
What Is Prank Calling?
Prank calling is the way that many people are introduced to pranks and practical jokes as children. Prank calling involves calling either people you know or strangers and teasing them with cryptic jokes. Prank calling is generally considered to be a harmless practical joke, but the advance of caller ID has made prank calling less popular than it was in the past.
Is Pranking Illegal?
Most pranks are harmless, but there are a few pranks that could get you in serious trouble if you perform them on somebody who decides to press charges over them. Always avoid any pranks that involve the following:
- Tampering with food and drink: While spiking somebody’s drink might sound funny if it’s somebody you think wouldn’t react negatively to the prank, this kind of practical joke can get you in serious legal trouble. Never add anything to someone’s food or drink, even if it isn’t a drug. Tampering with food and drink is highly illegal.
- Vandalism: You should never perform any kind of prank that causes damage to somebody’s property, even if it seems relatively harmless like TPing a house. These pranks are considered vandalism and can result in criminal charges.
- Flaming poop: Flaming poop on the doorstep is a popular prank in movies and television, but this prank is both dangerous and illegal. Don’t ever leave anything on fire on someone’s porch, period.
A good rule of thumb for pranking is considering how the prankee will react to the prank. Is it a prank that the person being pranked would ultimately laugh at? If not, it’s a prank you should seriously reconsider pulling.
Why Do People Pull Pranks?
Pranks have been around for thousands of years, and psychologists have been studying the reasons why. The verdict is that people enjoy pranks because they simulate a crisis while actually being very simple to resolve. This stimulation actually fosters self-growth and forces people to recognize their own shortcomings. Pranks can also teach people to respond to unexpected failings with grace and good humor.
Another major reason that people like to pull pranks on others is to make them laugh, or as a gesture of affection towards them. Ideally, a good prank should make the person being pranked laugh as hard as the person who set the prank up in the first place.
With these 20 age-appropriate pranks for kids, you will surely have your family rolling on the ground in fits of laughter this April Fool’s Day. No matter what prank on this list you decide to use in your home, you’re sure to catch your kids, or maybe your partner, by surprise. Just be prepared, because they will probably try to get you back next year!