I’ve always loved the month of April. It’s my birthday month, it’s the beginning of Spring, there’s Easter to celebrate…and let’s not forget, April Fools Day! My parents and siblings alike were full of pranks when I was growing up, a tradition I like to share with my kids. I mentioned this over on Twitter which resulted in a request for my favorite good-natured gags!

My boys are 8 and 10 years old and I have been reusing most of these ideas for a few years. Some of these pranks they’ve come to expect (and are bummed if I forget to do them!) but I always throw in a few new ones to keep them on their toes. You’ll have to gauge the appropriateness of these for your victims, I mean, family members. I like to start right away in the morning when they’re least expecting it and before they “get” me!

Undrinkable OJ:
Pour the morning’s breakfast beverage the night before and put them carefully in the freezer. In the morning, top them off with just a tiny bit of unfrozen juice (or whatever you froze) to camouflage the top of the drink. Watch them try to drink it!

Alien Cereal:
Put a few drops of food coloring into the bottom of a cereal bowl. Pour dry cereal on top to disguise the drops. Serve, then watch the milk turn colored when the milk is poured on the cereal!

Big Foot:
Stuff wadded up newspaper into the toes of their shoes. When they can’t fit their feet into them, casually comment on how much they’ve grown lately!

Think about your child’s (or family member’s) day and their routines. It’s fun to put a spin on something that you know they’ll do without fail. For example, my oldest son complains at least once a week that he is out of clean pants or underwear. (I’m a little lax with the laundry) Last March 31st, after he was asleep, I sneaked into his room and removed ALL of his clothes out of his dresser drawers. On April Fool’s morning when he tried to get dressed he yelled, “Mom! I don’t have any underwear!…or pants!…or shirts?!…MOM!”

Lastly, I like to save one more prank for bedtime…just when they think the day is over and they are safe. Bwah ha ha! This one takes a little more planning but is still quite easy. It’s a bit like short sheeting the bed…

Pajama jam:
Sew the hem of their pajama pants shut by setting your machine on the largest stitch. (Use a thread color that will be easy to see for ripping out later) Watch when they try to put them on and can’t get their feet through the openings. My guys jumped up and down like they were in a sack race! They rolled on the floor laughing at themselves and each other.

Please keep in mind that each kid is different. I try to keep my silly tricks as good natured as possible. I think my boys get a kick out of it because they expect something to happen. Also, neither feels singled out because each gag is usually happening to both of them. Even better? Enlist them in setting up a gag for your spouse. Kids love to be part of a secret plan! (try the “big foot” trick on Dad!)

Have fun and let the hijinks ensue!

What do you do for April Fool’s?