April Fool’s Day pranks for kids to play on grownups

Last night when he should have been in bed reading, my son and I huddled under his covers, bathing in the light of my iPhone while we googled the perfect April Fool’s prank to play on his dad.

Since his father is a somewhat gullible man who’s also been startled by a snowman he himself had built only 6 hours earlier, the task should not be monumental. And since he tends to be credited as the more fun parent, regardless of scaring easily, this is my chance to gain some ground.

Here are some of the current front runners, chosen because they are easy for a kid to execute but clever enough to actually work.

Put a small piece of tape over the optical portion of mom or dad’s mouse. Nerdy, harmless, and still pretty funny.

Stuff toilet paper in the toes of the unsuspecting parent’s shoes. Even the littlest kids will find this hilarious. Plus, they always seem interested in messing around with toilet paper.

Change the language on their cell phone. (If they’re using an iPhone, here’s how to do it, which can also be followed to change it back before the victim starts turning colors. Because clearly we’re not the first jerks to do this recreationally.)

The cup trick. Cover a cup (or cups, if you’re really looking to cause trouble) half full of water over on an index card. Carefully place the cup on the kitchen counter and slide the card out. Wait for mom or dad to pick it up and get wet. (This seems like a decent one to learn early and perfect for use on roommates later on.)

Runaway mouse. This is really a combined effort: cut a hole in a box (Stop. No. It’s not that. COME ON.) Put a small towel inside, and your thumb in the hole. Tell your kid to conjure the same acting skills they use each time they’re “SOOOO STARVING” and have them yell, “WE CAUGHT A MOUSE!” It’s up to you how long you keep up this charade and whether or not you pretend to drop it, but consider how much screaming you’re in the market for.

As a bonus, we learned that shredded, wet cardboard, molded into a cylindrical shape really makes a convincing turd. Never before has this kid been more interested in arts and crafts.

We’ll narrow it down together tonight. Then together we can decide which My Little Pony we should swap into my husband’s Facebook profile photo.