How to Prank Your Kids on April Fool's Day

by Bob Strauss

How to Prank Your Kids on April Fool's Day. As you may have learned from watching that new Nickelodeon show, "Hi-Jinks," it's all the rage these days for parents to prank their own kids-and what better occasion than April Fool's Day to display your own practical joking skills? Here are some ways to "gotcha!" your little devils before they have a chance to do the same to you.

Step 1

Wake 'em up early. For years, your kids have been creeping into your room at 6 a.m. and screaming you out of bed with a loud "Mommmm! Daaaaaad!" Set your alarm for 5:30, sneak into your son's room, and get some payback with a loud "Timmmmy!" After you scrape your kid off the ceiling, the three of you can have a good, hearty laugh.

Step 2

Pretend it's a school day. This year, April Fool's falls on a Sunday, which gives you the perfect opportunity to roust your kid from bed, wedge a piece of toast into her mouth, and shove her out the door equipped with lunch and knapsack. Let her wait outside for a few minutes (or hours, if you need some peace and quiet) before you let her back in the house.

Step 3

Serve something really gross for breakfast. If your kids are accustomed to corn flakes and buttered toast in the AM, throw 'em a curve and prepare some fried octopus tentacles or escargots a flambe (that's French for "flaming snails" for those of you who don't have a continental bent). Don't give up on this prank quickly-extra points if you can get your son or daughter to actually choke down what you've made.

Step 4

Hide all their stuff. While your kids are sleeping, sneak into their rooms, remove all their toys and stuff the booty into a hall closet. When they come downstairs for breakfast, calmly tell them that you've decided to teach them a lesson about charity and globalization by donating all their belongings to a third-world aid organization. Won't it be fun to watch their heads explode!

Step 5

Declare "opera and ballet" day. For as long as you can keep it up, communicate with your kids only via song and interpretive dance and insist that they do the same. At first, they'll stare at you like you're nuts, but remember that kids are naturally mimics and will quickly follow your lead. Later that afternoon, when your son sings "Dad, can I watch 15 minutes of Pokemon before I do my homework?" stare at him like he's nuts.

About the Author

Bob Strauss is the author of "The Big Book of What, How and Why" (Main Street, 2005) and "Who Knew? Hundreds & Hundreds of Questions & Answers for Curious Minds" (Sterling Innovation, 2007). He is a regular columnist for Match.com/MSN Dating & Personals, and has written for dozens of publications, including specialty science and medical magazines and popular glossies like Entertainment Weekly (where he was a contributing writer for seven years).