April FOOLS! for Kids: 10 Fun and Easy Tricks

I used to be able to make my kids laugh VERY easily…as babies, all I had to do was make a silly face or sound. But now that they are getting older, my silliness can elicit rolled eyes and sighs, though they can’t hide their smiles! ūüėČ The good news is that they are at about the same humor level now as their giggly Daddy who I’ve long-accused of having the same “stupid” sense of humor as an 8-year-old boy! As children age and get “cooler”¬†it might become harder to make them laugh, but when it happens, it’s a wonderful shared experience. Isn’t is great to laugh together? I’m happy to say that Laughter is a BIG part of the Manders family household, and I think it is a strong indicator of how far we’ve come for me to state that it has even surpassed “yelling” and possibly “whining” as a form of communication among us! That said, we are anticipating lots of laughs and tricks tomorrow for April Fool’s Day. Try a few of these with your kids, show them your mischievous side, and share some laughs! Taking the time to be “intentional” about creating silly rituals like this will be fun, yes, but it will also teach your child some important lessons: You care about fun, you don’t take life too seriously, and you like to laugh and play with them!
  1. ¬†“Honey, I Shrunk the CAR!” This ¬†is an old favorite for us….While the kids are sleeping on the eve of the big day, simply move your car out of the garage, and replace it with a toy car. Act shocked and surprised when you head out the door for school the next morning. Related to this one…Miniaturize your furniture, too. We did this one year with the kitchen table – replaced it with the dollhouse furniture so that it provided a fun¬†surprise at breakfast!
  2. Make the Chores “tricky”. Hide a plastic snake or lizard in the drier or dishwasher, and ask your kids to empty it. Ask them to water the bushes outside, and turn the sprinklers on while they are doing it! I’m sure you can think of some more…
  3. Short-Sheet the bed while the kids are at school, or teach them to do it!
  4. The old closet-clothes switch-a-roo! (When we were in college, I snuck into Dustin’s dorm room one April Fool’s Day, and replaced all his clothes with “Delta Gamma” sorority shirts!) You could make it easier and just switch the shoes on the shelf or put all of Daddy’s boxers in your son’s drawer, and all of his little spider man underpants in Daddy’s drawer – HA! Going to do this now…Ok, I will be sure to get a pic of Dustin in MJ’s “angry birds” briefs tomorrow!
  5. Buried in Balls or Balloons – Fill a cabinet or closet with LOTS of ping pong balls or inflated balloons so that when it’s opened – AGH! (Could be fun in the bath tub or shower, too.)
  6. Sticky coins or Tricky Dollar – stick some coins on the ground with tape or glue, and watch people try to pick them up OR tape some fishing line onto a dollar bill, and hide behind a piece of furniture to pull it out of the way as someone tries to grab it…
  7. Front door surprise! Sneak out of the house to ring the front doorbell, ask your kid to answer the door, and have one of their favorite stuffed animals waiting on the doormat.
  8. Tell a tall tale: Last year, we decided it would be too disappointing¬†¬†for Mommy to say she was pregnant, so Daddy told them HE was….And after school, MJ tricked GareBear into thinking that he had lost his voice, and communicated quietly with him for an hour by writing messages until he accidentally spoke. (Note to self: have the kids play this trick more often!)
  9. Make up an injury, and a good story to go along with it – nothing too serious! I’m gonna help Ellie fashion a “cast” tomorrow.
  10. Pretend to be somebody else!¬†On the phone, or in real life. Last year I¬†wore Groucho¬†glasses as my little pre-schoolers¬†came into class, telling them that Mrs. Manders was sick and I,¬†Mister¬†Manders, would be there teacher for the day! Even if it’s an obvious joke, kids love feeling clever when they “catch on” to them.

Bonus: This year, I’m trying a new Techno-trick that will really get Daddy Dustin…pretend milk¬†spill on his laptop keyboard. Got the glue drying now…¬†simple instructions

Picture of Portable Milk Splatter

 Please Comment to share your ideas!