Sometimes, you have to take a step back from the seriousness of life and just laugh. What better excuse than April Fools' Day? Here are a few ways to create a fun and memorable experience for your kids on April 1.
No one loves a good joke as much as a kid. Just spend a day with the under-10 set, and you're sure to hear at least a few knock-knock jokes — maybe even a few that are funny. Kids plan elaborate pranks and schemes, and even if they can't quite pull them off, they revel so much in the planning that you can't help but get caught up in their enthusiasm. So let yourself catch the spirit this year for April Fools' Day with our winning list of tricks and treats.
Let your kids know that something's up from the moment they wake up in the morning. When they're sound asleep the night before, carefully switch them to different beds, in different rooms if possible. Obviously, if you have kids who need their routines for stability, this prank isn't a good one — but most kids between the ages of 6 and 10 will really get a kick out of waking up someplace unexpected.
Pranks should always be light-hearted and fun. You want your kids to laugh, but you don't want them to feel foolish. This trick will definitely have them smiling. Roll up a two-dollar bill inside a toilet paper roll for them to find when they give it a yank in the morning.
If you have a child who is old enough to use the phone, leave him or her a message — either on your voicemail, or written on a handy pad of paper — from Mr. Lyon, requesting an urgent call back about a lunch meeting. The phone number your child will dial will connect him or her to… the local zoo, of course!
You can adapt this trick according to your child's personality. For younger or more easily startled kids, rig a basket full of small balloons (think water-balloon size, without the water) to spill over and greet the entrant as he passes through the doorway. For older kids and those who aren't fazed by loud noises, blow up several normal sized balloons and wind their tails together, but don't tie them shut. Carefully close the tails in a doorway to hold them in place. When your child opens the door, the balloons will (noisily) shoot around the room.
Tell your kids that to round out the day, you're going to have a backwards dinner — you'll start with cake. Bring out a platter and unveil it with much fanfare. They'll see a beautifully frosted confection. But when you slice it — or when they bite into it — they'll discover that it's actually a meatloaf cake, frosted with mashed potatoes. Once dinner has been eaten, serve dessert — sushi rolls made from rice krispies wrapped in fruit rolls.
End the day on a fun note. After dinner, send the kids up for a bath. When they get there, they'll find the tub has been turned into a ball pit. Let them goof off for a bit before they wash your last trick down the drain.
April Fools' Day is a great time to channel your inner child and have fun with your kids. Just beware — after your day of pranks, they'll have an entire year to plan how they'll get you back.
What is your favorite April Fools' Day prank or trick? Share with us in the comments.
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