April Fool's Day

Grandmother looking at phone, laughing at april fools' day prank
Cheer Up Grandma & Grandpa With These 15 Virtual April Fools' Day Jokes

Because you know they need a laugh.

by Cat Bowen
Originally Published: 

One of the groups hardest hit by the coronavirus is our parents' generation. They are the most severely isolated, and that is very lonely. But what better way to cheer them up than with these virtual April Fools' Day pranks kids can play on grandparents, even while everyone is quarantined to their homes?

Most practical jokes are meant to be played in-person, but desperate times call for creative measures, and I think I've found some winners. Here's the thing: None of these virtual April Fool’s pranks to play on grandparents need to be particularly well thought-out or elegant to work. They are designed to elicit a chuckle from the older generation, and brighten their day just a bit, while also occupying your children for a minute. Which is, of course, its own sort of reward in this nightmarish hellscape that we find ourselves dwelling in these days. You, your kids, your parents — everyone needs a reprieve from this.

In a few years, you'll be able to look back on this and think fondly of how your children stepped up to the plate to make their grandparents just a little bit happier. And you're making sure your kids remember that even though they can't go to grandma or grandpa's house, there are still ways to spend time with them. They're family, which means that they're fair game to prank.


Meow Game

This is a hilarious game for a phone call, especially with kids who are notoriously obvious about it. From the movie Super Troopers, you replace the word "now," with "meow." It's easy to play on FaceTime, and you will all bust a gut laughing.


A Fun Contactless Pizza Delivery

I have actually done this already because I am a child. I had a sausage and pepperoni pizza delivered to a friend of mine, and in special requests, I told them, "put the sausage and pepperoni in the shape of a question mark." I then sent my friend a text, "Your taste in food is questionable."

Choose a no-contact delivery and tip well.


Tagging Them

This is an oldie, but a goodie: Take a really ridiculous picture, like one of a rhino butt or a catfish or Nicolas Cage, and bury it somewhere in your Facebook pictures. Then, tag all of the grandparents so they're forced to untag themselves. Obviously the grandfathers are on either rhino buttcheek.


Fake Email Sales Listing

Set up a fake email. Take a picture of something random — a hairbrush, a broken chess set, whatever, and email your grandparents asking them if they're still interested. Keep emailing back. Increase the price. Take artful pictures of it, finally landing on one of your kids holding it, reading "April Fools."


Masks for Facetime Chat

Print out pictures of your kids' grandparents (current or older) and make them into masks. Wear these masks for FaceTime. It's not only hilarious, it's also somewhat unsettling.



WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

Have your kids draw on your arms, just subtly enough to poke out from under the sleeve of your shirt. Let it be seen just a little, at key points in the conversation. Eventually, they'll ask about it. Show them your "new tattoo." Swear it's real. If you've got teenagers, let them be the ones sporting some new ink.


Fake Prank

Have your kids text and call their grandparents telling them to "expect a prank," on April Fools' Day. Build it up, really go for it. When April 1 rolls around, do nothing.


Photoshop A Ghost

This one takes a bit of time, but what else do you have going on right now? Take a picture of your kids. Then take another picture of your kids, in creepier clothes. Then, use this step-by-step tutorial to superimpose that creepy pic into the regular pic so they appear to be ghosts.


Cat Facts

Paul Park/Moment/Getty Images

Have your kids input their grandparent's number into Cat Facts, an app that sends cat facts via text message a few times per day. It's both funny and informative. Did you know cats won't squeeze through anything their whiskers touch on both sides? Now you do.


Make A Digital Book Of Poop

It's super easy to make a digital book using the Scan it All app. You just have the kids draw pictures, use the app to turn them into PDF pages, and then combine it into an ebook. Have the kids write and illustrate a really sweet story, but hide the word (or a drawing of) poop on every page.


FaceTime Farting

It's simple, but it's hilarious. Download the farting app on your phone. During your daily or weekly video chat with grandma and gramps, occasionally hit the fart button. Keep doing it, and don't acknowledge the noise until they do.


Send Pics of New "Pet"

This is my second-favorite. Photoshop pictures of a semi-dangerous animal in pictures with your kids, and have them send them to your parents. "Look at my new pet! I rescued it from the front yard." It's a terrifying-looking snake or wolfdog. Maybe a baby crow.


Life-Size Cutout

This takes a few resources, and will require you to position it on your kids' grandparents' driveway. Make a life-size cutout, (easy to do, trust me) of something ridiculous. I like the idea of your kids beside Danny DeVito holding a velociraptor.


The Gift That Never Ends

Send a special package to your grandparents and schedule a video call when they can open it up. Except all they’re going to find in the box is a smaller wrapped box holding a smaller wrapped box holding a smaller wrapped box... you get the idea.


Switch Up Your Background

There are so many fun Zoom backgrounds out there. Surprise Grandma and Grandpa with a video call from outer space or a tropical beach or maybe the set of one of their favorite TV shows. If you go with a realistic (but different) background like a living room or kitchen, try to convince the grandparents you bought a new house or renovated your current one.

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