19 Last-minute, Family-friendly April Fools’ Day Pranks


The old "blue food coloring in the milk" trick.

It’s time for April Fools’ Day, and I don’t want you to miss this opportunity to have some fun with your kids.

Assuming that you haven’t already spent hours planning an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank, what I bet you need are some quick ideas that are low-stress, lighthearted, and easy to do with supplies you’ve got at home.

I’ve been collecting ideas on my Pranks and Fun board on Pinterest, and here are some of my favorites:

For small children

  1. Stick plastic googly eyes on everything you can in the refrigerator. Or stick them on framed pictures or furniture around the house. Don’t have any googly eyes on hand? Print, cut, and stick some Printable Googly Eyes.
  2. Put food coloring in the milk.
  3. Safety pin, clothespin, or sew socks or underwear together.
  4. Use a Sharpie to draw silly faces on the eggs in the carton, then ask the kids to help make breakfast.
  5. Create a dramatic scene with plastic animals, dinosaurs, or Lego figures making a mess.
  6. Replace pictures in the house with print outs of a silly face or character they love.
  7. Make flavored gelatin, and pour it into drinking glasses with a straw. Let them set, and serve them up at breakfast.
  8. Serve gummy worms in the scrambled eggs. Or add some green food coloring to the eggs as they cook. Or both!
  9. Tell the kids you’re serving fish for dinner and serve them a plate of Swedish fish.

Googly eyes for April Fools' Day

For children that are a little older

  1. Unroll the toilet paper just a bit and draw a spider. Or, place a plastic Halloween spider or bug into the roll.
  2. Replace the toilet paper roll with a roll of duct tape or a piece of sand paper.
  3. Tape a fake plastic bug to the inside of a lampshade so when they turn it on, it looks like they’ve got an unwelcome visitor.
  4. For some reason, it’s funny to Nicolas Cage your house.
  5. Wrap everything in their backpack or bag in tissue, wrapping paper, or newspaper.
  6. Toilet paper their room while they sleep.
  7. Hang a sign in the bathroom that says, “Mirror under repair. Do not use.”
  8. Tell them you made some brownies. Present them with a pan of brown, construction paper letter Es—”brown Es.” You might want to have a batch of real brownies on hand, too.
  9. Bugs. Fake bugs. Anywhere. Everywhere.
  10. Set up a funny scene in the mailbox. Then, ask them to take something out to the mail. (Make sure not to freak out the mailman.)

Have fun! And if you’ve got fun ideas, share them with us!