11 Tear-Free April Fools’ Day Pranks For Kids

Growing up, your parents probably told you that it wasn't nice to play tricks on people. Generally speaking, that's sound advice. But once you have children of your own, you understand that there's a difference between harmless antics and cruel jokes. With March coming to an end, you might be looking for April Fools' Day pranks to play on your kids that won't cause tears. If you're anything like me, you think that this holiday should be an opportunity to bring a bit of laughter — not sadness or fear — to brighten up someone's day.

Striking a balance between hilarious high jinks and miserable mischief can be tricky when it comes to kids. For instance, in a segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live, parents tell their children they ate all of their Halloween candy. Though this gag typically ends with a reassurance that their treats are safe and sound, quite a few tears are shed in the process. Just remember — a good practical joke doesn't necessarily have to involve an element that will upset your children. So, if you want to find lighthearted ways to pull a fast one on your kids this April Fools' Day, then check out these family-friendly pranks.


Bug Out

Nothing is quite as unnerving as creepy crawling creatures. As Parents suggested, you can put fake bugs in your kids' ice cubes. The look on their face when they discover a spooky spider in their drink will be priceless.



If your kids are old enough to use the internet, you can pull a fast one on them with this trick. Switch the name and password of your Wi-Fi so that the network name is a riddle and the password is the answer, as The Huffington Post suggested. Just don't forget the answer yourself.


Freeze It

Some of the best pranks involve food. As Baby Center recommended, freeze a bowl of your kid's cereal the night before then watch the confusion set in when they try to eat breakfast the next morning. You might want to have a back up bowl, just in case.


Fake Them Out

Courtesy of Sarah Bunton

This prank has been around in my family for years and you may have your own variation. Set up a cup as if there is something underneath it and leave a warning note. Prepare for screams when they find there is nothing under the cup.


Get Jelly

Another harmless joke, as recommended by Parenting, is to put Jello instead of juice in your kid's cup. If it's a sippy cup, they'll be especially puzzled when they can't seem to get their drink.


Switch Beds

If your children are particularly solid sleepers, then you'll have no trouble pulling this one off. As the website for The Today Show noted, you can put your kids in each other's beds while they're snoozing for a funny surprise when they wake up.


Do Donut Dupes

Your kids will think they're in for a treat when they see you brought home a box of their favorite donuts. The joke is on them because, as How Cast suggested, you can use mayo instead of cream for the donut filling. Just remember not to eat them by mistake.


Get Cheesy

Your kids will freak out when they go to grab a refreshing glass of juice and discover that you mixed instant macaroni and cheese powder with water instead of pouring them orange juice, as Buzzfeed suggested.


Bounce Around

Another fun joke we've pulled on each other in my family involves balloons — lots of them. Simply fill up your kid's closet, bathroom, or any room with a bunch of balloons. It's best to time this out so it happens first thing in the morning since this will wake them right up.


Play With Flavors

Do we all scream for ice cream? Not so fast. According to Baby Center, you can swap out ice cream with mashed potatoes for a real trick on their tastebuds.


Create Colors

You might want to make sure you have some real soap on hand after this one. As the site for The Today Show recommended, you can put a dab of food coloring on the bathroom faucet or pour a little Kool-Aid in the shower head for a truly colorful bathroom experience.