On the one hand, toddlers seem like the perfect demographic to celebrate April Fools' Day: They're silly, they love to laugh, and their sense of humor is totally slapstick. On the other hand, though, they get scared easily (sometimes over stuff you would never expect), and they're not known for dealing particularly well with disappointment. So what are some hilarious but harmless April Fools' Day pranks to play on your toddler?
Toddlers are just figuring out how things are supposed to work in the world, so they're super quick to point out when something is amiss — and they're sure to dissolve into giggles as soon as you explain the reason why. Plus, toddlers love surprises (and all of these pranks will definitely come as quite a surprise!).
If there are older siblings around, be sure to get them in on the joke. Because, let's face it: Big brothers and sisters pretty much live for playing tricks on their younger siblings, and April Fools' is the one day of the year when it's actually acceptable!
Perhaps best of all, none of the pranks on this list are going to make a huge mess of your house or take hours of effort to prepare. They're all as easy as they are fun — and they make for great photo ops, too.
1. Broccoli 'Lollipops'
Lollipops are like the Holy Grail of treats as far as the average toddler is concerned, so the idea of putting a stick in the bottom of a raw broccoli floret and wrapping it up like candy is kind of mean — but it's also pretty hilarious. Find out how to make them at The Decorated Cookie, and maybe have a few real lollipops on standby just in case your kid is super disappointed.
2. Jello Juice
Here's one glass of juice you won't have to worry about your toddler spilling — because it's actually Jello! Make ahead of time in glass or plastic cups, and make sure to include a straw (watch a video tutorial here). Bonus: Your kid gets to eat the Jello once he figures it out!
3. Shrinking Shoes
Make your little one think her feet doubled in size overnight with this ridiculously simple idea from Pen + Paper Flowers: Just stuff the toes of her shoes with toilet paper (or tissues). Tip: Try this one when you're not in a particular hurry to get anywhere!
4. Fake Some Facial Hair
A bit of backstory: I was about to include a prank in this list about drawing a mustache on kids while they're sleeping (using washable marker or makeup, of course), but I was afraid that might be a little too mean. So then I thought: Hey, I bet my 3-year-old would think it was pretty funny if I drew a fake mustache on myself with eyeliner and pretended like nothing was amiss. And guess what? I was right! Trust me, your kids will be equally amused.
5. Fish For Dollars
Like something out of a classic cartoon, this dollar-on-a-fishing-line prank from Kids Activities Blog is a joke older siblings will likely love to take part in: Just attach a dollar bill to a fishing line and slowly pull it away from out of sight after your toddler finds it (see instructions here). And if your kid isn't interested in dollars just yet, try using a small toy or piece of candy instead!
6. Brown-E Surprise
Ideal for kids who are in the alphabet-learning phase, this punny prank involves cutting some brown construction paper into letter E shapes and serving them in a tinfoil covered pan (find a tutorial at Instructables). It might take your kid a second to get the joke, but once she does, you should probably give her a real brownie so she doesn't hold a grudge for life.
7. Hand-Washing Hijinks
Since you're already encouraging your toddler to wash his hands dozens of times a day, might as well mix it up a bit with this joke from TODAY: Swab the inside of your faucet with gel food coloring, and when the water turns on your tot will get a colorful shock!
8. Frozen Cereal
If cereal is your kid's favorite go-to breakfast, this one from Alpha Mom is for you: Simply pour your little one's bowl of cereal the night before, then put it in the freezer. By the morning, you'll have a breakfast to serve that looks totally normal, but is surprisingly impossible to eat! (Naturally you'll have an edible bowl of cereal ready, too.)
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