April Fools' Day is all about practical jokes and elaborate rouses. But if you're like me, you don't have the time or energy to pull off something truly epic on the adults in your life. However, that doesn't have to stop you from getting in on the fun. There's one person guaranteed to find your simple pranks absolutely and utterly hilarious — your tot. And some of the best April Fools' pranks to play on your toddler are wonderfully easy to pull off.
If having a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old has taught me anything, it's that kids love anything goofy and nonsensical. Not surprisingly, Dr. Seuss's Wacky Wednesday is a huge hit in our house, and actually, come to think of it, that book has some pretty awesome April Fools' Day ideas: a shoe on the ceiling, a palm tree in the toilet, an umbrella in a pot of water. Yep, those are all great Seussian ways to kick off April 1 with a toddler in the house.
Of course, kids also love food, so messing with their favorite meals is a foolproof April Fools' strategy. Looking for even more inspiration? Don't worry, the 10 ideas below are all going to make your toddler giggle, and will probably make them want to get in on the pranking action next year.
1. Put Googly Eyes On Everything
It's a known fact that googly eyes make anything and everything look silly and cute, so it was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea to put googly eyes on refrigerator items.
Before breakfast on April 1, transform your condiments, beverages, egg cartons, and really whatever you have sitting in the fridge, with some googly eyes ($4, Amazon). Your kid will think it's the funniest thing ever.
2. Sneak A "Dollar" In Their Favorite Book
At some point during your childhood, you probably fell prey to the old dollar-on-a-string trick. Well, the dollar in a book joke is a slight variation on it.
Buy some fake money ($7, Amazon) and tear off a small corner of one of the bills. Then place that corner inside a book so that it's just poking out. Set the book on the kitchen table or in another high-traffic area in your home, and wait to see how long it takes for your kiddo to grab it.
3. Switch Out The Pizza
This prank is great because you get to eat pizza the night before. Here's how it works. After the kids go to bed, order some 'za from your favorite delivery place. Polish off the pie but save the box. On the morning of April 1, secretly load up the box with fruits and veggies. Declare to your toddler, "Today we're having pizza for breakfast!"
Warning: your kiddo will not be happy with you when they find out what's actually in the box. But catching their reaction on video, to then laugh at together for years to come, will make it all worth it. If you're feeling generous, make it up to them with an ice cream or pizza treat later in the day.
4. Load The Car With Balloons
Maybe it's because I love the movie UP, this April Fools' Day idea really makes me smile.
Blow up a bunch of colorful balloons and fill your car with them, especially the carseat area. Then tell your tot that it's time to go to school/daycare/park. Just wait for the giggles as they discover that their car looks like a magical clown mobile.
5. Do A Shoe Surprise
This is a totally harmless joke that will be met with squeals of delight instead of the usual April Fools' Day frustration. Fill your kiddo's shoes with something unexpected, like Goldfish crackers or sequins, and then tell them it's time to head out.
They'll love that it's a quirky start to the day, instead of the normal "Let's get moving, please!" plea you're usually barking.
6. Saran Wrap Their Toy Bin
Putting Saran wrap across someone's toilet is a classic April Fools' Day joke, but if you have a toddler in the house, the last thing you want is more potty mess.
Yet that doesn't mean you can't still have some fun with plastic wrap. Stretch some across your kid's toy chest or Lego bin, and then wait as their hand is met with some clear resistance!
7. Hang Marshmallows
Your kid will love walking outside on April Fools' Day morning to find something unusual hanging from the trees — marshmallows! And how fun would it be to pick those sugary treats for a sweet morning snack?
They'll wish every day was April 1.
8. Savor Breakfast
I mentioned earlier that food pranks are usually huge hits, and this one is no exception.
Trick your kid into thinking you're serving them toast with a special heart-shaped, strawberry jam spread. When they take a bite, they'll realize that it's actually ketchup. The look of surprise and confusion on their face will be priceless.
However, if your toddler loves ketchup as much as mine does, this prank could backfire. They might end up loving the toast!
9. Fluff Their Pillows
It's true, this prank could derail nap time but the silliness might be worth it.
Here's what you do: Remove their pillow from its case, place blown-up balloons inside instead. When they're ready for their nap, sit back and watch what happens when they put their head down to rest.
If a pillow fight follows, enjoy the ride!
10. Turn on the Rainbow Wipers
This is April Fools' idea, from Helmut Smits, is not only cool for kids, it's pretty magical for adults too.
Place some washable paint drops at the base of your windshield wiper, making sure that the colors go in order of the rainbow. When your toddler is looking — and you're not driving — turn on the wipers, and watch as they streak a big, beautiful rainbow across the windshield.
Now that's a memorable way to start a day.