13 Funny April Fool's Day Pranks to Play on Your Kids

For April 1—or any day your crew is in need of a laugh—check out this collection of pranks, props, treats, and tricks. They're wacky enough to tickle an entire family of fools. We mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.

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Cereal Shocker

Yunhee Kim

Cereal Shocker

Hide realistic-looking gummy worms in the bottom of your kid’s cereal bowl for an “eww”-worthy breakfast prank. Realistic Earthworm Gummy Candy, $8 for a 31-piece bag.

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Dough...Not

April Fools Dough-Nots

Dough...Not

An apple is healthier than a doughnut. Peel and core an apple; then cut it in half horizontally. Next, use a knife to trim the bottom so it is curved (like a doughnut). Melt 6 ounces of candy melts. Pat the apple dry, dip it top-down into the candy melts, set it on wax paper, and cover with sprinkles.

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Pop Goes the Carpet

Image Source/ Veer

Pop Goes the Carpet

Cut a piece of large-bubble bubble packaging to fit under your child’s rug. Hide it before she gets up (if it’s a larger rug, slip a piece under where she’ll step). Wait to hear giggles when the rug goes “pop!” 

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Meatloaf Surprise

Yunhee Kim

Meatloaf Surprise

Divide 3 pounds of your favorite meat-loaf recipe into two 8” round cake pans and bake (drain off any liquid that remains in the pan). You’ll need 5 to 6 cups of smooth mashed potatoes to frost the layers. For an extra-convincing confection, use a pastry bag and tip to pipe on additional mashed spuds.

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Good-Morning Gag

Misha Gravenor

Good-Morning Gag

April 1st falls on a Saturday this year. Trick your kids into thinking it’s a school day. Have them wake up and get ready as usual, but make sure you’re running late, and say, “We’re going to miss the bus! I’ll have to drive you.” Instead of pulling up to school, take them to their fave breakfast spot.  

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Trick Treats

Yunhee Kim

Trick Treats

Remove the wrappers from Tootsie Rolls and replace the candy with cut and peeled carrot pieces; for individually wrapped bubble gum use cut sections of string cheese. You can also replace round lollipops with large grapes or brussels sprouts (use fresh treat sticks from a craft or party store). 

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Tease, Please!

Alexandra Grablewski

Tease, Please!

This fool-the-eye platter isn't all it's crackered up to be: cookies and candy chews stand in for the traditional savory snack. To make the crackers, pull apart several vanilla sandwich cookies. Leave the filling intact and scatter green sugar sprinkles on half the pieces. Scrape away any filling from the others. For the cheese, soften white and orange fruit chews (we used Tootsie Fruit Rolls) in the microwave for a few seconds, then shape into cubes or roll the candy flat and use a knife to trim it into rectangles. Form the holes with a small cookie cutter or piping tip.

Originally published in the April 2014 issue of FamilyFun

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Faux Cookie Dough Dip

Photograph By Mark Mantegna; Recipe by Katie Higgins of ChocoalteCoveredKatie.com

Faux Cookie Dough Dip

This deceptively delicious recipe has the texture and flavor of homemade cookie dough, but it's actually a bean dip in disguise. In a food processor, blend 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, 6 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 cup peanut butter (we used a natural, unsweetened variety), 3 tablespoons oats, 1 tablespoon milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and baking soda.

Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Serve with apple slices or other fresh fruit. When snack time is over, tell your kids they are now full of beans!

Originally published in the April 2014 issue of FamilyFun

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A Micro Meal

Andrew Greto

A Micro Meal

To generate big belly laughs, present your kids with this Lilliputian lunch. Line a small empty matchbox with foil or parchment paper (so that the food can actually be eaten, if desired). With a glue stick, attach a 2- by 4-inch piece of decorative paper around the exterior. For the handle, squeeze a drop of tacky glue onto each end of a 1-inch length of pipe cleaner and adhere it to one side of the box as shown. Finally, pack it with a teensy lunch.

SANDWICH With a sharp knife, cut little triangles of bread, lunch meat, and lettuce, then stack them.

DOUGHNUT Frost the top of an O-shaped cereal piece and sprinkle it with nonpareils.

CARROT Slice a bit of carrot into miniature carrot sticks.

RAISINS Chop a raisin into tiny pieces.

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I Broke My Funny Bone!

Andrew Greto

I Broke My Funny Bone!

What kid hasn't secretly longed to show up for school with a broken limb so that she can bask in attention and collect the loving signatures of well-wishers? This prank allows kids to cast themselves in that starring role -- without any of the suffering. As a bonus, this reusable fake is a fun prop to keep around for make-believe doctor visits.

You Will Need:
Knee-high white tube sock
Paper-towel tube
Plastic grocery bags
Masking tape
Plastic wrap
Foam brush
White glue

1. Cut the toe off the sock, then make a thumb hole by cutting a half-inch slit an inch from the cut end.

2. To make a cast form, bulk up a paper-towel tube by wrapping three or four plastic bags around it. Secure them with masking tape. Cover the form in plastic wrap, then slide on the sock. Attach a length of masking tape down the sock.

3. Use the foam brush to apply a thick layer of glue all over the sock, except for where the masking tape is (this unglued area will allow the cast to stretch so that the wearer can easily slip it on and off). Let the sock dry overnight. Remove the masking tape, then remove the cast from the form. Ask well-wishers to sign the cast with markers.

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The Colossal Popsicle

Colossal Popsicle

The Colossal Popsicle

So your kid has a huge appetite for frozen treats? Wow him with a mutant ice pop that's as big as his head. To make a simple version, remove the top from a 46-ounce can of juice, pour out a little of the juice (so it won't overflow when it freezes), and insert a foot-long length of 1-inch wooden dowel. Place strips of masking tape across the can to hold the dowel in place, then place the can in the freezer overnight or until the juice is solid. To remove the pop, run the can under hot water to loosen it.

To make the fancy striped pop shown here, pour all but 12 ounces of juice out of the can. Secure the dowel in place and freeze the juice. Add 12 ounces of a contrasting-color juice and freeze. Freeze the third layer, then run the can under hot water to unmold the pop.

After the prank is played, chop up the pop and put the pieces in a blender or food processor to make delicious shaved ice (that can be served in reasonable-size portions!).

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A Helmet to Crow About

Andrew Greto

A Helmet to Crow About

For a wacky stunt on April Fools' Day, deck your family's helmets with some chicken-inspired trimmings, then get ready to hear some chuckling -- and possibly some clucking -- as you cruise the neighborhood.

You Will Need:
Felt
Tacky glue
Large googly eyes
Old sock
Cotton batting or other stuffing
Safety pin
Heavy-duty double-sided tape
Pair of gloves
Embroidery thread and large-eyed needle

1. Cut a figure eight shape from the felt. Glue on the googly eyes.

2. To make the nose, cut off the toe of the sock and stuff it. Using a safety pin, attach it to the felt. Adhere the felt to the back of the helmet with double-sided tape.

3. Stuff the gloves, tucking in the cuffs to hold the stuffing in place. With the double-sided tape, adhere the gloves to the top of the helmet.

4. Using the embroidery thread and needle, make a few stitches through each glove and knot the thread ends inside the helmet.

Originally published in the April 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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Faux Chicken Wings

Faux Chicken Wings

Faux Chicken Wings

What looks like chicken wings, blue cheese, and celery is actually Rice Krispies Treats, vanilla yogurt, and Laffy Taffy! 

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