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April Fool's Day Family-Friendly Pranks

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Find some good-hearted pranks for April Fools Day.

On April 1, people who aren’t typically jokesters turn into pranksters. Many of us enjoy playing tricks on each other and perhaps falling for a couple ourselves. This offbeat holiday continues to be observed by those fun-loving tricksters. They’re the ones who keep the spirit of April Fool’s Day alive.




Find us on pinterest! Want more family-friendly April Fool's Day prank ideas? Be sure to visit our "April Fool's Day Fun" Pinterest Board!



Funny Stuff

Every year, the operator at the San Diego Zoo listens to giggling callers asking to speak to Mr. Fox, Tony the Tiger or Mrs. Bear. Orson Welles pulled off one of the most famous hoaxes in October 1938 when millions of Americans tuned into a popular radio program and learned that Martians were invading the planet. In 1957, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) news show “Panorama” convinced its viewers that Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. They aired footage of Swiss peasants harvesting strands of pasta.

Good-Hearted April Fool's Day Pranks for Family

If you're up to fooling your family, here are six ideas to get you started.

Clothes Mix Up: You’ll have to stay up late on March 31 to pull this one off. Swap dad’s socks with your daughter’s. Replace your youngest son’s boxer shorts with his big brother’s. You get the idea.

String Them Along: Grab a spool of thread the same shade as your jacket or pants and hide it in your pocket. Leave several inches dangling. Approach your kids, spouse or co-worker and ask them to pull the hanging thread. Before they know it, they’ll have a handful of thread.

Tight Toes: Stuff toilet paper, tissues or cotton balls into the toe of your child’s sneakers. Be ready to help them when they discover their shoes don’t fit.

Cereal Swap: If your family has cereal for breakfast, exchange the bags inside the boxes. Your kids will be surprised that their Cheerios turned into bran flakes. For extra fun, add a tiny bit of green or red food coloring to the milk.

Channel Changing: Grab the remote and stand in another room while your kids are watching cartoons. Randomly change the channel or mute the volume.

Crafty Cookies: Separate chocolate sandwich cookies, scrape out the vanilla filling and replace it with cream cheese or toothpaste. Call the kids in for cookies and milk.


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Claire Yezbak Fadden is an award-winning freelance writer and mother of three sons. On April 1, she’ll place a small piece of tape over the laser sensor on her husband’s optical mouse and wait for his reaction.


Find us on pinterest!Want more family-friendly April Fool's Day prank ideas? Be sure to visit our "April Fool's Day Fun" Pinterest Board!



Originally published: April 2012; Updated 2017