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30 Fun (and Harmless) April Fools’ Pranks for Kids

Updated: Apr. 07, 2024

These easy April Fools’ pranks for kids are sure to make the whole family laugh

Kids playing an April Fools Day prank
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Clever (and fun) April Fools’ pranks for kids

April Fools’ Day is coming up (don’t forget to check this list of other holidays and observances in April ), and it’s the perfect time to lighten the mood with some harmless yet hilarious April Fools’ pranks for kids. Remember, April Fools’ Day lasts for 24 hours, so you can have a full day of the best April Fools’ Day pranks (and jokes) planned for your kids to keep them guessing. But if you can dish it out, you can take it too, so tread carefully—kids might just get in on the pranking game with some April Fools’ pranks to play on parents.

We prefer the April Fools’ jokes and japes that have everyone crying with laughter (rather than just crying), so we rounded up some of the silliest, memory-making high jinks that will get the whole family giggling, no matter who’s on the receiving end! Now, go forth and prank!

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Hand holds a toothbrush with toothpaste on bathroom background, close up view.
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Cheesy toothpaste

What do your kids do first thing in the morning? Yep, you guessed it: They brush their teeth! But why not add a little twist? Swap out their regular toothpaste for something unexpected, like icing or cream cheese. Imagine their surprise when they go to brush and get a tasty treat instead!

Cookies and a glass of milk
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Mayo cookies

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich cookie? Well, how about turning the dessert into a hilarious April Fools’ Day prank for kids? Take out the creamy filling and replace it with something not-so-yummy but similar in visual appeal, like mayo or Greek yogurt. It’ll be a funny April Fools’ prank that they’ll figure out as soon as they take a bite!

sponges texture
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Sponge cake

Now here’s an April Fools’ prank for kids that’s bound to get some laughs (and may be meme-worthy for April Fools’ Day too). Serve up what looks like a delicious sponge cake but—surprise!—is actually layers of real sponges disguised with frosting. Just make sure kiddos don’t take a bite before realizing it’s not your typical dessert.

fake fly floating in milk
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A “bug” surprise

The classic plastic-bug-in-the-ice-cube trick never gets old! Freeze some plastic bugs in ice cubes, then watch as your kids freak out when they see them floating in their drinks. And for an extra scare, toss a few plastic roaches and ants around the house for them to discover (yuck!).

Fresh red blood splat on white porcelain with specks from the impact. Copy space area for horror themed concepts and ideas.
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Spooky faucet

Want to add a splash of color to their morning routine? Unscrew the faucet cap and drop in some Easter egg dye tablets. Or get creative and swab the inside of the faucet with food coloring. Go with alarming colors, like orange, yellow or red. When they turn on the water, they’ll be in for a colorful surprise as the sink fills up with a freaky hue.

Ants on biscuits
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Ant surprise

The ideas for April Fools’ pranks for kids just keep coming! Try this: Sprinkle plastic ants around your kids’ breakfast or lunch, or scatter them on the kitchen countertop for a surprising start to the day. They’ll be completely terrified of an ant invasion.

canned peaches
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Peachy eggs

This is the perfect prank for any zodiac sign. Serve up what appears to be a delicious plate of fried eggs. But instead of eggs, serve up tinned peaches halved and nestled in yogurt. Add to the trickery with sliced apples masquerading as chips and strawberry jam “ketchup” for dipping.

Blue and pink sneakers
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Trippy laces

This idea makes a great April Fool’s Day prank for your boyfriend too. Sneakily tie all of their shoelaces together the night before. Whether you’ve paired up shoes or created one long lace chain, they’ll be in for a hilarious surprise when they try to put on their kicks in the morning.

African couple placing new modern armchair in light living room
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Upside-down house

Feeling a bit mischievous? Before hitting the hay, flip a bunch of furniture and decor upside-down, targeting all areas of the home. From armchairs to tables and paintings—even the items on the kitchen countertops—go all out! When they wake up to the topsy-turvy scene, play it cool, like it’s just an ordinary day.

Child eating spaghetti,
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Dinner for breakfast

Here’s a fun twist on mealtime (and an April Fools’ food prank your favorite restaurants would pull). Instead of breakfast for dinner, how about serving dinner for breakfast? Spaghetti, tacos, cheeseburgers, chicken, steak—you name it! Just make sure it’s something they’ll actually eat, or you might end up facing a day of hungry kiddos.

Girl Sleeping
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Bed swap

This April Fools’ prank for kids is perfect for heavy sleepers (and is so innocent, it’s far from being an April Fools’ prank gone wrong). Sneak in during the night and shuffle their furniture around, change out their comforter or even swap your kids from one bed to another. They’ll wake up wondering what exactly happened while they were snoozing!

Blue matcha drink
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Blue milk

Have some Star Wars fans in your family? Tell them you got them some extra-special milk—direct from Tatooine! This easy April Fools’ prank for kids is perfect for those who drink milk or eat cereal every morning. Simply put a few drops of blue food coloring into your milk carton, shake it up, then pour. You get bonus points if you glue a Star Wars–themed label onto your milk carton.

Colorful candies in hands, top view. Chocolate easter eggs in hands. Easter symbol. Sweet food concept. Hands holding group of shiny sweets.
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Easter candy swap

April Fools’ Day isn’t far from Easter Sunday. It’s the perfect opportunity to let your Easter Bunny get in on the fun a little early this year. If you’ve already stocked up on Easter candy, carefully unpeel the foil from some foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and reuse the wrap to cover individual grapes for a sweet (and silly) surprise.

Close-Up Of Toilet Paper Roll
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Bathroom reading

This is one of those April Fools’ pranks for kids that is low in effort and big on laughs. Unroll your toilet paper a bit, then use a pen or marker to write a funny joke or “Happy April Fools’ Day” on the TP. Roll it back up and wait to see who uncovers your surprise.

child eating cereal. April fools pranks
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Cereal switcheroo

This is a great April Fools’ prank for kids who love their favorite cereal. Trick your kids into eating a healthier cereal (or surprise them with a usually off-limits sugary kind). Simply swap the bags between two cereal boxes, and see how long it takes your kids to realize they’re pouring something different into their bowl.

pink balloons. April fools pranks
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Balloon surprise

Wow them when they wake up in the morning—this is a fun April Fools’ prank for kids who love over-the-top surprises. Use painter’s tape to attach several wide pieces of plastic wrap across your child’s door, and fill the pocket it creates with inflated balloons. When your child opens the door in the morning, a huge balloon explosion will greet them.

Tasty cupcakes on a white wooden table
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Foolish meal

Faux foods have become a delicious way to celebrate April Fools’ Day. This is an easy April Fools’ prank for kids that will make the whole family laugh at the dinner table. Make meatloaf and separate it into cupcake tins, then frost the “cupcakes” with mashed potatoes as a special “dessert” for dinner. Mix some gravy into the mashed potatoes for “chocolate” frosting to go with those “cupcakes.”

And for actual dessert? Try “grilled cheese” made with slices of pound cake as the bread and gooey yellow frosting in place of cheese. The kids’ “juice” can be jello refrigerated in glasses, with straws embedded for an extra-realistic touch. This foolish meal will surely get them laughing!

full frame of skittles and M&Ms
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Crazy candy mix

This fun April Fools’ prank for kids is ideal for those who eat candy by the handful (or who wish they could). Trick them with a seemingly appetizing candy dish, but mix together Skittles, Reese’s Pieces and M&Ms. That first handful of candy will definitely taste a little—ahem—unusual. Odds are, they’ll probably pick through it a little more carefully after that.

children's clothes. Easy april fools pranks
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The growth spurt

This easy April Fools’ prank is for kids who hate to eat their vegetables. The night before April Fools’ Day, serve them a healthy dish (try broccoli or Brussels sprouts) and let them know that they’ll probably grow quite a bit as a result. At night, stuff a few tissues into the toes of their shoes and perhaps lay out a couple pieces of one-size-too-small clothing for them. The next morning, they won’t believe how giant they’ve become—and maybe you’ll be able to get them to eat broccoli more often!

Chef taking off aluminum foil. Spicy marinated turkey legs cooked in a disposable bake-ware pan, just from the oven, close up view from above. Step by step roasted turkey recipe
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 Brown E

Cut several E’s out of brown construction paper, put them in a 9-by-13 pan and cover it with foil. Tell your kids you made a batch of “brownies” for them, and watch as they get tricked when they open the foil. You might want to have a batch of real brownies waiting in the wings to ease any upset!

Sleepy little child lies on the bed and reaches for the ringing alarm clock. Sleepy boy on the bed with alarm clock in front.
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Clock change

This is an easy April Fools’ prank for kids that you can actually play year-round. After your kids are asleep, set the clocks forward an hour. In the morning, wake them up by announcing you’re all late for a very important date! See how quickly they scramble … and how long it takes them to realize the correct time.

Children using technology on sofa
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“Frozen” technology

Take a screenshot of their smartphone or tablet, and set it as their lock screen. This easy April Fools’ prank is great for kids who are addicted to their phones. Let them freak out for a few minutes as they think their screen is frozen before you come in to save the day.

Cute Girl Planting Flowers In House Balcony
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Doughnut seeds

You’ve probably heard of the famous April Fools’ hoax regarding spaghetti trees. This one is equally fun. Make a fake label with a picture of doughnuts and glue it onto an envelope stuffed with Cheerios. Tell them you got them a package of doughnut seeds and see if they take the bait—and if they start planting them!

carrots. April fools pranks for kids

Snack food switcheroo

Carefully open a bag of Cheetos and swap out the cheesy snack with some healthier baby carrots. Reseal the bag and watch for the inevitable surprise. You could even play it off as a new, healthier formulation of Cheetos—or a special treat the Easter Bunny shared!

April fools pranks for kids. strawberries with eyes

Googly-eyed food

Ask the kids if they like seafood—and by that, we mean “see” food. Glue googly eyes onto your milk cartons or pickle jars, or paste edible sugar eyes on fruit and other treats (you can use a little dab of gel frosting to adhere them). Draw silly faces on your eggs with a magic marker.

Twin sisters giving each other a hongi
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Matching outfits

This April Fools’ Day prank for kids is equally funny and adorable. On March 31, lay out matching outfits for your kids to wear the next day—but don’t tell them they’ll match their siblings. Watch with delight as they head to the breakfast table and realize they’re dressed just like their siblings! And get plenty of pictures, of course.

Close-Up Of Cropped Hand Popping Bubble Wrap
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Snappy steps

This requires some ingenuity, but it’s well worth it. Grab some bubble wrap, cut it up and put it in your kids’ shoes. The next morning, help them put their shoes on and watch as they hilariously pop with each step.

Fresh homemade pop cakes
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Fake cake

This one is sure to fool any kids who have a soft spot for dessert (which is, well, the majority of kids). Grab some cooked Brussels sprouts, dip them in melted chocolate or candy, and insert a cake pop stick. You can decorate them to look even more like delicious cake pops. Offer the kids a sweet treat—and watch as they bite into the deceptive dessert. Similar to the brownies prank above, you may want to have some real cake pops waiting for the kids—you know, as prizes for being such good sports.

A teenage boy is asleep with a toy tarantula close to his face on April fools day 2019
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Creepy crawlers

Only pull this prank if you know your children won’t freak out at the sight of bugs—and yes, that includes fake ones. Grab some fake ants and spiders, and sprinkle them on your children’s pillows as they sleep. They’ll wake up totally grossed out that they slept next to some seriously creepy crawlies.

Boy sitting on fart bag
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Classic whoopee cushion

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. Snag some whoopee cushions, blow them up and place them under your children’s favorite spots to plop—that could be at the dining room table or on the couch. Watch and laugh as those unmistakable noises fill the room.

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Additional reporting by Kelly Kuehn.

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