I remember the first year my twins were old enough to try their hands at playing April Fools’ Day pranks on me and their dad. I think it was a week and a half before we quit hearing, “Look! Behind you! April Fools!” about 15 times a day.
No, those weren’t the most sophisticated pranks, but they came from preschoolers and they were played with all the heart of the most imaginative joke. And of course, they were accompanied by the sweetest giggles of childhood glee. I’ll never regret going along with them.
There are several good reasons you should go along with the joke if your child decides to prank you on April Fools’ Day, or the weeks thereafter, if they are still too young to fully grasp the concept of the holiday being just one day a year.
Kids love to make you smile
Whether it’s a hug around the neck, a flower from the back yard, or a silly April Fools’ joke, nothing seems to make little kids happier than making grownups smile. If you don’t play along with their prank, no matter how silly or repetitive it is, you are stealing their opportunity to give you a smile. Give of yourself, of your time and your patience, and just play along.
Jokes help develop a sense of humor
April Fools’ pranks, especially for little kids, are more like one-liners than elaborate jokes. But delivering those lines in a remotely convincing way takes practice and timing, and a bidding sense of what’s funny.
“There’s a bird on your head! April Fools!”
You know there’s no bird on your head, at least, I hope you do. But a little feigned shock and confusion go a long way toward helping your child develop their delivery and refine their sense of humor.
Pranks show they care
Pay attention to whom the children you know are pranking on April Fools’ Day. Chances are, the most frequent recipients of their jokes are the people they care about. Moms, dads, teachers, siblings, and friends are all likely candidates for April Fools’ Day hijinks.
Like any good spirited show of affection, an April Fools’ Day prank from a child ought to be taken as a sign of caring, and the best way to reciprocate that love is to laugh, act surprised, and let them know they really got you.
Don’t worry. April Fools’ Day is only one day long. Or a couple of weeks, at best.
More by Tavia:
Silly April Fools’ Day Pranks to Play on Your Kids
Four Great Reasons to Let Your Kids Mix Up the Play-Doh
Little Kids Can Do Research, Too