22 Harmless April Fools Pranks to Play on Your Kids

April Fools’ Day can suck for adults, if only because it’s such a childish holiday. But kids can have a lot of fun with the ridiculous tradition and there are plenty of laughs to be had when parents get creative. Just remember that you’re the adult in the room, and pulling pranks that will seriously scare or upset your child isn’t cool. Your child relies on you for just about everything, and it’s imperative you maintain their trust. To get in the spirit of April Fools’ Day without the trauma, we’ve put together a list of harmless, kid-friendly April Fools’ Day jokes and pranks you can play on your kids. These are quick, fun, and easy to pull off. Best of all, there are no permanent emotional scars.

22 April Fools Jokes and Pranks for Kids

1. The Mayonnaise Sundae

Self-explanatory. Reward your kids with an unforgettable dessert. Don’t forget the chocolate sauce and cherries!

2. Late for school!

When your kids go to sleep, set the clocks in your house an hour ahead. Rush them out the door in the morning like normal, but instead of going straight to school, you’ll have time to stop for breakfast!

3. Brown-“E”s

Tell your kids you baked them a pan of brownies. But when you remove the foil, the pan will be literally filled with “E”’s you have cut from brown construction paper or cardboard. Whether or not you have a real pan of brownies on standby is up to you.

4. Frozen Cereal

When your kids go to sleep, pour a bowl of their favorite cereal, add the milk and then stick it in the freezer. Have it waiting on the table when they come down for breakfast and let the confusion ensue!

5. Black Bean Cookies

Make “chocolate chip cookies” out of mashed potatoes and black beans. Even you’ll be surprised by the striking resemblance.

6. The Eye-Pad

Tell your kid you bought them an iPad, but really, just buy them an eye-pad from the pharmacy.

7. Cereal Switch-a-roo

Switch the bags inside two boxes of cereal (preferably the one they want with a healthy high fiber option).

8. Bad Hair Day

Pick up your kids from school wearing an outrageous wig. This could also be a good way to mortify your SO on an April Fools date night.

9. Plant “doughnut seeds”

Take your toddler out to the yard in the morning and plant a handful of cheerios. They’ll be shocked when those seeds have grown into a dozen doughnuts by the afternoon.

10. Sound the alarm!

Hide battery-powered alarm clocks throughout your child’s bedroom. Set them to go off at random times throughout the day.

11. Hidden kitty

Hide a walkie-talkie in your kid’s closet, under their bed, or in the vent. Then meow into it at various intervals. Watch and laugh as they search furiously for their new pet!

12. Penny for your thoughts

Start placing pennies in places where your child will find them. Then start placing more and more pennies. Then more and more! What a lucky day!

13. The walls have eyes

April Fools Day prank lite. Put googly eyes on EVERYTHING.

14. Big Kid Undies

Replace your kid’s underwear with a drawer full of your own.

15. Rainbow Teeth

Squirt a few drops of food coloring into your kid’s tube of toothpaste. Listen to them panic when their teeth turn a ghastly (though temporary) shade of blue!

16. Magic Cereal

Place a few drops of food coloring in the bottom of your children’s cereal bowls, then add their favorite cereal. They pour the milk, watch their jaws drop when it somehow turns a crazy color.

17. Bigfoot

Stuff the inside of your kids’ shoes with toilet paper. They will wonder how their feet got so big overnight!

18. They Say It’s Your Birthday!

As soon as your kid wakes up in the morning, act like it’s their birthday. Put up a banner, balloons, a muffin with a candle in it. Prominently display a generous pile of colorfully wrapped empty boxes. When it comes time to sing, replace “Birthday” with “April Fools Day”.

19. Little Kid Lunch

Pack your school-aged children’s lunch with baby food and sippy cups.

20. Cupcakes for Dinner

Coolest Dad ever? Not so fast. Bake mini meatloaves in muffin cups, then “frost” them with mashed potatoes. Revel in the disappointment.

21. Brussel Sprouts for Breakfast

Simple yet effective. Serve your kid a huge plate of their least favorite cruciferous vegetable for breakfast.

22. Fill a Room Full of Balloons

Go big by filling a room full of balloons. If that seems like too much of a project, fill a closet or a shower. The post-prank entertainment potential is high.