Laughter is the best medicine, especially during challenging times. Psychology Today explains that laughter really is beneficial to our health, emphasizing that “Laughter establishes—or restores—a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people.”
April Fools’ Day is a designated day each year for laughter and silliness in the United States and many other countries. While it’s not a national holiday, many people love to take advantage of April 1 to play pranks on others or share silly jokes or puns.
For some fun with your family on this April Fools’ Day, prepare ahead of time by checking out some of these ideas:
- Swap beds. The night before April Fools’ Day, put your (heavily) sleeping kids into a different family member’s bed. They’ll wake up to their first prank of the day as they realize they’re not in the same bed they went to sleep in last night!
- Make some “brown-E’s.” Place a tray or dish on the counter and place some “brown-E’s”–letter E cut out from brown construction paper–on it. Share that you made your kids a sweet treat last night while they were sleeping, and suggest they have one for breakfast. Watch their excitement turn to confusion as they realize that you didn’t actually make them brownies!
- Turn the world upside down. Before bed, go through the house and turn as many items as possible upside down. Benches, chairs, tables, pillows, and decorations are all fair game! When your kids walk through the house in the morning, it’ll look like their whole world is upside down.
- Have some fun with balloons. This science trick is sure to amuse as you race your child to inflate a balloon the fastest. Follow the procedure in the Balloon Trick activity to engage your child in this fun competition. The added bonus is they’ll also get a quick science lesson as they learn about air pressure–and that you had a little trick up your sleeve the whole time.
- Play “Eye” Spy. Give your kids a laugh at lunchtime by putting googly eyes on everything on their plate. Alternatively, when your kids are sleeping, place googly eyes on things all over the house. When they wake up, you can say “‘Eye’ see you!”
- Bugs are everywhere. Draw or place a plastic spider on top of the toilet paper roll. Your family members likely won’t even notice it’s there until they try to reach for some toilet paper. Listen for some squeals, and then listen for the giggles to follow!
- Do a magic trick. Tell your children you have a magic trick to show them and gather a drinking glass, a small piece of cardboard, and some water. Follow the directions in the Magic Glass of Water Experiment and then share the science behind this cool trick that will certainly have them asking to try it, too.
- Tell some jokes. Since April Fools’ Day is about laughter and loosening up, offer some jokes to get your kids giggling. One of my favorite jokes to tell my preschoolers is: Why was 6 afraid of 7? Because 7, 8, 9. (Note: The cheesier the joke, the better!)
- What’s for dinner? Prior to dinner, follow the directions in the Dinner for Dessert activity. Announce that fish sticks are on the menu and invite your kids to the table. Watch as they’re pleasantly surprised to find that their dinner is sweeter than expected!
- Play a pillow prank. This will bring one last laugh before bedtime! Before your kids go to bed, take their pillows out of the pillowcases. Then, place inflated balloons inside the pillowcases.
When choosing a prank or joke to share with your child, be sure to think about their individual personalities and how they might react. Remember that the goal of the day is laughter and keeping things light-hearted and fun.