Two kids dancing in the rain in a rocky cove.

5 Funny April Fools’ Day Pranks You Can Play On Your Kids Outside

From gross-out foods to last-minute alarm clock jokes, these harmless outdoor pranks make excellent April Fools’ Day gags

April Fools’ Day is on the horizon and there’s one group of folks that’s especially fun to pull pranks on: your sweet, adorable children. Not only are they easier to dupe due to their age and limited life experience, their youth tends to make them better sports about the whole thing. They’re good-natured when they get fooled, and their responses (often unbridled laughter or joy) can be contagious. Plus, with spring around the corner, it’s a great excuse to go outside.

Given that our founder Gert Boyle was the queen of pulling pranks on her kids (going as far as sending her son through the carwash and running him over with an ice resurfacer), we thought it would be fitting to put together a list of April Fools’ Day jokes you can play on your children. Below is a list of five youth-friendly pranks that are perfect for children of all ages. Each is totally harmless (i.e., you won’t make them cry on their way to school) and all involve fun treats or surprises. Best of all, since they all take place outside, they won’t make your house a mess.
Two kids in rain coats running on a dirt path.

1.“Hurry Up! We’re Late for School!”

On the night before April Fools’ Day, set your clocks ahead an hour. When your kids wake up, explain that you’re late and everyone needs to rush out the door quickly. Have their lunch made and their clothes all ready to go. Race out of the house and start driving to school. However, instead of going directly there, head to the park and use the extra hour to play outside.
Donuts on sticks placed in a garden bed.

2. “Kids, I found donut seeds today!”

Glue a photograph of donuts (or their favorite treat) to a packet of flower seeds or another type of sealed envelope. The day before, tell them you found the world’s only known donut seeds and take them into the yard to plant them together. In the morning, place an assortment of donuts or other candy treats on wooden skewers and arrange them where you planted the seeds. Then leave the windows wide open so the kids can discover that the “donut plants” grew overnight.
Close up of kids' feet standing on rock.

3. “This special breakfast food will make your feet grow.”

Plan a fun hike into the woods. During breakfast that morning, tell them you just learned about a special meal that will make their feet grow fast. (It can be a type of cereal, pancakes, fruit, sausages, or other breakfast food.) Have their hiking boots waiting for them by the door, stuffed with tissue paper. When they put them on, they will think their feet have instantly grown since breakfast.
Two kids looking in some bushes in a park.

4. “These woods are full of magical fairies.”

Take them on an adventure outing into the woods and explain that the area is known to have magical fairies. The fairies have special wands that can turn things purple (or whatever color you choose). Bring food coloring and edible glitter. When they are distracted for a few minutes, add the food coloring to their water bottle and sprinkle “fairy dust” all over it. Now it looks like the fairies have turned their water a different color and left a trail of magic behind.
A yellow flower pot with plant sitting on a white table.

5. “You have to eat the dirt … for science.”

Crumble up a box of Oreos, pudding, and other dark-colored dessert food into a small planter. Ask your kids to help you transplant a flower from the garden into a potted plant. Explain that you have to test the soil to make sure the plant will grow properly: “To do this, we have to eat a little bit so we know it’s fresh.” Watch them recoil when you start eating dirt and then get excited once they learn it’s actually a delicious dessert.
Spring is just around the corner! Be sure to stock up on kids’ gear for your next adventure.