After a full two years since the onset of lockdown, I think we can all agree that Zoom school is in no way a decent substitute for the real deal. Not even close (but major props to the teachers who wrangled 20 kids via Zoom boxes, or worse, taught to a class of black squares). And while schools have now fully opened, there are still lots of kids plodding along through classes via their computer screens. In some cases it’s still school classes, sometimes it’s tutoring or an extracurricular activity. It’s all… less than ideal. Which is why you should totally encourage your kid to liven up her four millionth Zoom with one of these
April Fools’ Zoom pranks kids can play on their class.
April Fools pranks for Zoom will acknowledge the silliness of the day and bring some lighthearted laughs (notably, none of the suggestions are to pretend you have Covid because that won’t make anyone smile). From changing your background to the surface of Mars, to having your pet do the learning, or donning a mustache and wig, there are lots of goofball ways kids can prank their peers (and their teachers) this April 1. And some of these April Fools’ Day Zoom pranks don’t require much planning at all. 1 Only ask questions Ippei Naoi/Moment/Getty Images
This Zoom prank works best when a few kids are involved (or the whole class). Agree to only respond to the teacher in questions. This gets goofy really fast and you’re sure to hear giggling kids asking if the teacher can repeat the question of whether they can be excused to the bathroom. It’s actually harder than it seems at first to only speak in questions, but it’s fun and worth a try if kids are old enough.
2 Switch zoom names with a friend
This funny April Fools’ Zoom prank will be a head scratcher for the whole class. Your child and their buddy can alter the name field on Zoom to be the other person’s name. This one works especially well if the video is off. That way, when your kid speaks, the teacher will be expecting their friend’s voice and vice versa. See how long it takes for someone to catch on.
3 Pretend to be frozen
If your kid excels at freeze dance (or the mannequin challenge) try this April Fools’ Zoom prank. Your child can abruptly freeze and hold themselves really, really still. It’s even funnier if they do this mid-sentence. When the teacher inevitably says something like, “Looks like we lost Liam,” your child will get a kick out yelling April Fools!
4 Pull a background switch
This one can be super funny, but you need to prepare a bit. In the days leading up to April Fools' Day, see if the teacher walks off the screen for a moment, giving you or your kiddo an opportunity to screenshot their background, which is probably their living room or office. Then, using the Zoom background feature, set their house as your
own background (you can even have everyone in the class do this for extra emphasis). Then see how long it takes the teacher to realize that it looks like everyone is setting in their house. It's sure to be a funny, confusing surprise. 5 Try snap camera
You probably know of SnapChat already, but they also make a desktop app known as
Snap Camera (which Elite Daily explains how to use). You can add a fun filter to your Zoom to give everyone in the class a little April Fools' surprise. There are hilarious wigs, glasses, and other accessories to choose from, or your kiddo can show up to class as their favorite animal or another selection from Snap Camera's WFH collection (which stands for "win from home," per Bustle), which includes toilet paper binoculars or a cat sitting on their head. 6 Have a pet fill in Inti St Clair/Tetra images/Getty Images
Everyone loves seeing pets on video chat, so you might as well make them a part of remote learning. You can set it up so that when your kiddo turns their video on, the dog is sitting in their chair (potentially even wearing glasses, if your pup is into that). Bonus points if you get a couple classmates who also have pets to do it, too, or you can have every kid put their favorite stuffed animal in their chair and call it a zoo(m) meeting.
7 Play with Zoom’s audio settings
In the advanced settings, Zoom has a
feature under "Audio Type" that you can set to "Computer Audio." This allows you to play sounds from your computer — I'm imagining something funny and random like a dolphin noise pulled from YouTube or an audio clip of Let It Go, which is sure to be a crowd-pleaser — and no one will be able to tell exactly where it's coming from. Please, for the sake of teachers everywhere, keep this trick to a couple times and only on April Fools' Day. 8 Set a video as your background
The tech-savvy among us may already know that you can actually set a video as your Zoom background, and that video can be of
yourself. Your kiddo can take a video of themselves sitting at their desk in one outfit, so when they walk off the screen, it looks like they're still sitting there. Then they can pop back in wearing a totally different outfit (a new hairstyle also helps drive this one home). Everyone will be amazed and a little freaked out. 9 Get siblings or parents in on the fun
You know that classic party trick where someone hides behind you and it looks like their arms are your arms? Well, it works surprisingly well on Zoom. Have a sibling (or you can do it, too!) hide behind your kiddo, making all arms movements for them. This is especially funny if your kiddo is drinking something (a juice box or a water bottle is probably the best idea if you don't want to drown your keyboard) and see how long it takes for anyone to notice.
10 A Whoopee Cushion never fails
One of the oldest tricks in the book, the whoopee cushion never fails to provide a laugh. It's super funny on Zoom, too, because it's really hard to figure out which square the offending sound is coming from. Be ready for pure chaos and hilarity to ensue.
11 Live like a Disney princess
Your dreams can come true via
Modsy's Disney princess Zoom backgrounds per Bustle. They offer modern takes on the spaces in which your favorite Disney princesses live, and your kiddo can trick their class into thinking that they live like a (very chic) Elsa or Moana. You may even want to keep this up in your own work meetings. 12 Wear a funny costume or wig kate_sept2004/E+/Getty Images
If you don't feel like messing with your Zoom features, you can always opt for an IRL filter by having your kiddo wear a wig or a silly costume. There's something so hilarious about a person in an outrageous outfit going about their daily business (in this case, following along with the virtual lesson hopefully) and the whole class will be laughing along with this silly April Fools' joke.
13 Pretend you’re on mute
This one is a great last-minute option that requires zero prep. When called on, your kiddo can mouth their answer (the longer the better). When someone inevitably points out that they're on mute, your kiddo can yell out, "April Fools!"
14 Make a mask of the teacher’s face
Why not get the whole class in on the joke? Get a decent snapshot of your kid’s teacher, and have everyone do a large print out of his face at home. Paste the pic to some cardboard to make a mask. And voila! When the teacher logs on, he will find himself staring back at multiple clones of himself. Which will bring some great laughs, as well as make him wonder if he’s having some kind of episode. Win-win!
With a little effort and a mischievous spirit, these April Fools’ Day pranks will make Zoom way more fun than usual.
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This article was originally published on
March 30, 2020