I love April Fools’ Day. I enjoy a great prank, whether I am the instigator or the victim, on a day dedicated to foolish fun. As long as no one actually gets hurt, I think going to the trouble to pull a particularly funny joke on a friend, a loved one, or an entire nation is actually very cool.
Who doesn’t admire the great Swiss Spaghetti Harvest prank the BBC broadcast in 1957 or laugh at the time Taco Bell convinced thousands of Americans they’d actually bought the Liberty Bell and renamed it? It takes a lot of thought and effort to really surprise someone on April Fools’ Day.
That’s why I always try to pull at least one fast one on my kids, and they try their best to prank me back on April 1. We share a lot of laughs, and vow revenge next year. I won’t tell what special surprises I have planned, but here are a few silly pranks you can play on your kids this April Fools’ Day. Have fun!
Pop Tart fake out
Maybe you’ve already made purple eggs, or crafted “mashed potatoes” out of ice cream, but this prank takes things a step further because it involves pre-packaged food that your kids would never suspect.
First, buy a box of Pop Tarts. If these are an unusual treat for your kids, all the better. Next, carefully open a bag of the Pop Tarts along the seam. You don’t want to rip the wrapper, because you’ll be using it again.
Take the Pop Tarts out, put them in a plastic baggie for later, and cut a couple of pieces of heavy cardboard or thin particle board to the same size as the pastries. Paint fake frosting on top, and add the word “April” to one and the word “Fools” to the other.
Carefully glue the bag back together using a thin bead of super glue. Regular white glue doesn’t stick well on this surface. Allow to dry overnight, then give your child the fake Pop Tarts for breakfast. After their confusion subsides, pull out the real Pop Tarts for an April Fools’ Day treat they’ll remember.
Honey, I shrunk your shoes!
The evening before April Fools’ Day, manage to somehow splash some water on your child’s sneakers. Not enough to soak them, but enough that it’s plausible that they’ll need to take a tumble in the dryer. After your child goes to bed, snug the laces of the shoes up tighter than normal. If the shoes have a removable insole, take it out and stuff some cardboard underneath to make them even tighter.
Next, stuff some tissue wadding into the toes of the shoes, just enough to make the shoes uncomfortably tight, not enough that your child will immediately notice there is a strange object in the end of the shoe.
When your child puts on the sneakers and wonders why they suddenly feel so much smaller, you can suggest that the dryer shrunk them before exclaiming, “April Fools!”
Beans and cornbread made a prank
This prank comes directly from my 12-year-old daughter, who thinks it would be a hilarious joke to play on her brother. She says we should bake some cornbread, tinted with food coloring to look brown, in a cake pan. Then take cooked pinto beans and blend them until they are smooth and creamy, add food coloring to make them look more like chocolate, and frost the cornbread with them.
Of course, it would help to bake an actual chocolate cake, too, so the smell is hanging in the air when her brother comes running in to devour his “chocolate” beans and cornbread cake.
The more I think about it, this might be a great prank to pull this year, because with some more steaming hot beans still in the pot, the beans and cornbread cake can still make a tasty dinner, and everyone will be happy because there’s also a real chocolate cake hidden away for dessert. Sounds like fun to me.
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