12 Last-Minute April Fools’ Day Pranks To Play on Your Kids

Yes, it’s somehow already April 1st, and if you (like I) forgot that it’s April Fools’ Day and are scrambling to come up with a prank that is as easy as it is delightful (or frightful) for your kids, look no further. We compiled a dozen jokes that are sure to get a chuckle out of your kids. (Or, if we’re wrong, I guess that would be an April Fools’ Day prank of its own!)

1. Juice Swap

This classic prank is beloved by Parenting Editor Rita Templeton. Simply fill your child’s cup with Jello that’s the same color as their favorite juice (orange for citrus, purple for grape juice, red for fruit punch, yellow for lemonade), and they’ll think it’s their beloved drink … until they go for a sip. “My four sons all fell for it,” Templeton says.

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2. Egg-cellent Idea

This prank is perfect since Easter was yesterday. Unwrap some of your kids’ mini chocolate eggs and use the candy wrappers to rewrap some grapes. They’ll be so bummed when they realize when they’ve been tricked into eating *gasp* fruit!

3. Screentime Confusion

This one is especially good for your older kids! Open their beloved laptop or tablet just long enough to take a screenshot of whatever the screen currently looks like. No snooping! Then leave the photo open and wait for them to be so confused when nothing they click on will open.

4. What’s That Sound?

Grab some old bubble wrap (don’t act like you’ve gotten rid of those Amazon boxes!) and place it under an area rug if it’s thin enough or under a seat cushion or pillow if it’s more hefty. Think of it as a budget-friendly whoopie cushion that will still give your family a good laugh.

5. A Water WTF

Whether you do this for bathtime or regular handwashing (or both!), grab some food coloring and a Q-tip and swab the inside of the faucet so that the water turns into a freaky shade! We like green or red since we have both colors left over from St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

6. McDonald’s Mix-Up

Get your kids excited for McDonald’s (or takeout of their choice for dinner). When you get back to the house, sneakily hide their meal and wait for the look of horror on their face when they realize there’s no Happy Meal in their future.

7. A Bit Of Karma

If you’ve been getting scared by your kids’ collection of plastic critters for years, it’s time to finally get them back. Drop an ant in their water, hide a spider in their lunch box, or have their snake peeking out from under their pillow.

8. Make Them Sweat

If you’re not one to go for the gag, gaslighting your teen the teensiest amount is allowed today. (And only today!) Remind them all day long that it’s April Fool’s Day. They’ll be walking on eggshells while they wait for The Big Prank. Little do they know, the prank is watching them sweat.

9. Gross Oreos (GrOreos?!)

Pull apart everyone’s favorite cookie sandwiches and swap the delicious filling for something decidedly gross in this context. Mayonnaise, cream cheese, or toothpaste should all do the trick. Your kid(s) will be spitting these out in no time. Bonus: They may want to lay off the sweets for a bit after this.

10. Home Hoax

This one could go many ways. Whether you put up a For Sale sign in the front yard, get some fake blueprints of a home renovation that nixes their bedroom, or pile up pool company pamphlets on the counter, find a way to convince your kiddo that (for better or worse) their house is getting a major change.

11. Celebrity Shots

You might have seen this prank go viral, and it’s a perfect way to get a giggle from your family year-round. Print out pictures of celebrities or cartoon characters and tape their faces over the faces of your family members in photos around the house.

12. The Easiest “Gotcha!”

When in doubt, go for the jump scare. It’s the easiest and doesn’t cost a dime. If your kids are anything like Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s 7-year-old daughter Luna, they’ll love it!

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