April Fools' Day is a special holiday for parents everywhere because it's the one time of year when it's totally acceptable to pull a fast one on your kids — and laugh out loud when they fall for your tricks. Not to worry, our favorite family-friendly April Fools' Day pranks are gentle and will make for a fun day of joking around with the kids.
A tasty way to fool your kids (or let them fool you) is to make April Fools' Day dishes that deceive the eye and palate. For example, cook mini meatloaves in cupcake liners and top with mashed potatoes tinted pink with natural food coloring. For your fruit-loving kids, core an apple and insert a dark-colored gummy worm. For more fun, buy realistic-looking toy plastic flies and strategically hide them in breakfast, lunch or dinner meals.
Another food prank that your kids may actually hope you do more often is to take various candies and shape or cut them to resemble vegetables. Mix them with plain yogurt and pour them into a pie plate. Top with a baked puff pastry crust and serve the dish as vegetable pot pie.
Painting a bar of soap with clear nail polish so that it becomes super-slippery is a funny prank for people of any age, but it becomes especially hilarious when kids can't figure out what the heck is going on. Of course, the only downside to this prank is that your kids will probably use it as an excuse not to shower, but hey, we can't win 'em all.
In the morning before your kids get up, stage a fake houseguest at the breakfast table. Stuff a little girl's long dress, or jeans and shirt, with towels, pillows and/or newspaper. Sit "her" in a chair and prop a newspaper on her lap, so no one can see her upper body or head. Tell your kids they have a new "roomie" and introduce them to "April," a young girl who loves reading the newspaper and doesn't talk much.
At dinner the night before April Fools' Day, introduce your kids to a new vegetable and tell them if they eat it, they will wake up bigger and stronger. (If your kids have never eaten Brussels sprouts, this is the perfect time to serve it.) When they go to sleep, stuff the toes of their shoes with cotton or newspaper and, if possible, swap out their jeans and shirts with clothing a size too small. You can also have your kids do this to your spouse's shoes and clothing for some extra giggles.
Let your kids fill your spouse's medicine cabinet or cupboards with rolled-up socks or small plastic balls. Then stifle your laughter and watch the surprise when he or she opens the doors.
Have your kids super-glue a few dimes or quarters on the sidewalk out front, then camp out at the window and watch how many passers-by bend down to pick up the coins -- or try to, at any rate!
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Updated by Bethany Ramos on 3/29/2016
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