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15 Family-Friendly Pranks for April Fools’ Day

These pranks will liven up April Fools’ Day with laughter. Your family may know a prank is coming, but they can’t stop it!

If there’s ever a day to let loose your most devious, mischievous pranks—without taking things too far—April 1 is it. April Fools’ Day is the perfect excuse for creative, over-the-top laughter.

Here are fifteen harmless ways you can get the whole family involved in the fun, excitement, and anxiety-filled anticipation:

1. Fake Bug in Ice Cube

While some people aren’t afraid of bugs, nobody likes finding one in their drink. So place a plastic bug or small toy insect inside an ice cube tray before filling it with water. Serve drinks with these ice cubes and watch the surprised reactions when they notice the “bug” in their drink.

2. Fake Bug in Lampshade

Similar to the ice cube prank, bugs are the scariest when they’re in unlikely places. SO take a realistic-looking fake bug or spider and hide it inside a lampshade. When the lamp is turned on, the shadow cast by the bug will create a creepy effect.

3. Colorful Milk

Have you ever seen green milk at the store? No? Well, your kids might see it in the fridge. Add a few drops of food coloring to the milk jug the night before April Fools’ Day. When family members pour their morning cereal, they’ll be in for a colorful surprise!

4. Jelly Soap

If you use a bar of soap, then this prank is for you. Replace the hand soap in the bathroom with a clear gelatin or Jell-O mixture. When family members try to wash their hands, they’ll be met with wobbly, jiggly soap.

5. Soap That Won’t Lather

You might not even have to go as far as replacing the soap. Just cover a bar of soap with clear nail polish. When family members try to use it, they’ll be puzzled by the lack of lather!

6. Fake Spills

Place fake spill decals or stickers on tables or countertops in the kitchen or dining area. When family members see the spills, they’ll do a double-take before realizing they’re not real.

7. Sneaky Alarm

Nothing is worse than being woken up from the best nap by a sound that just won’t stop! Set an alarm clock or phone alarm for an unexpected time during the day when you know family members will be around. Hide it in a clever spot where it’s difficult to find, and enjoy their confusion as they try to locate the source of the sound.

8. Makeup Mayhem and Fashion Fails

When you get ready for the day, try something new and absurd. For example, overline your lips ridiculously far, put on gigantic false eyelashes, wear a mismatched outfit, or wear your shirts inside out. And then—this is the most important part—pretend like nothing is wrong. Your family will absolutely freak out (and not want to be seen with you in public).

9. Frozen Breakfast Surprise

Freeze a bowl of cereal or yogurt the night before, then serve it to family members in the morning. They’ll be puzzled when their breakfast doesn’t seem to thaw out as expected!

10. Switched Labels

Swap the labels on containers in the pantry or refrigerator. (This works the best when all of the jars look the same.) Family members will be in for a surprise when they open what they think is one thing and find something entirely different inside.

But be warned, if you take this job too seriously, you might be getting surprises all year long.

11. Switched Screensaver

Change the desktop screensaver or wallpaper on the family computer, tablet, TV, etc.,  to a silly or unexpected image. It’ll be a funny surprise when someone goes to use the device.

12. Whoopee Cushion Chair (A Wholesome Classic)

Place a whoopee cushion on a family member’s favorite chair or seat. They’ll get a classic surprise when they sit down and hear the familiar sound!

13. Switched Toothpaste Tubes

Toothpaste tubes are something where one thing comes out and nothing else ever goes back in. So if what comes out isn’t toothpaste, your family will be in for a huge shock. Just swap the contents of toothpaste tubes so that when family members go to brush their teeth, they’ll get a surprise flavor or color.

14. Fake Out Phone Call

Set your phone’s alarm tone to your call tone and set it to ring at an unexpected time during a family gathering. Pretend to answer it, then engage in a humorous conversation with yourself to confuse family members. The more outrageous the conversation, the better.

15. Ghost Mouse

Technology often does surprising things, but having your mouse move on its own is next level. Your family will be thinking, Is this the day technology comes to life? Just sneakily connect a wireless mouse to a family member’s computer and subtly control it from a distance. They’ll be puzzled when their cursor moves seemingly on its own!

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Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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