Last year, April Fools Daywent largely unrecognized. Mainly because at that time, reality itself felt like an unbelievable joke.
Roughly 80% of students said they experienced moderate to high levels of stress during the 2020 school year, according to a survey of 1,000 US students conducted by the homework help and online learning community Brainly.
“It’s rather heartening and encouraging that a year later, we all feel a bit more up to acknowledging the silliness of the day and having some laughs,” says Patrick Quinn, a former teacher and Brainly parenting expert.
From changing your Zoom background to the surface of Mars to donning a mustache and wig, there are lots of goofball ways students, parents, and teachers can prank one another this April 1, which also happens to be the beginning of National Humor Month.
“Making the most of April Fools’ Day jokes in the classroom can relieve stress and help create long-lasting memories. Not only does humor go a long way in building relationships and creating solidarity in the classroom, but it can also be a natural stress reliever,” adds Quinn.
To serve as inspiration, here are 7 April Fools Jokes for Students, Parents, and Teachers.
- Frozen Cereal. As a parent, you can start your kids’ April Fools Day off with this frozen cereal prank. The night before, all you have to do is put a bowl of cereal in the freezer and let it solidify overnight. Cereals that are “sturdy” like Cheerios, Kix, or granola with clusters will work better because they will keep their shape while being frozen and will look more like freshly poured cereal. Once you remove the bowl from the freezer the next morning, pour some fresh milk on top and it will look completely normal. Then all you have to do is sit back and prepare to be amused. Pro tip: it’s a good idea to have their actual breakfast ready to go as soon as your kiddo figures out the prank in case they’re hangry and less than amused.
- Pull A Background Switch. This one can be super funny for kids doing remote or hybrid learning, but they’ll need to prepare a bit. When the teacher walks off the screen for a moment, students should snag a screenshot of his or her background, which is probably their living room or office. Then, using the Zoom background feature, students can set their teacher’s house as their own background (they can even have everyone in the class do this for extra emphasis). Then see how long it takes the teacher to realize that it looks like everyone is sitting in their house. It’s sure to be a funny, confusing surprise.
- The Impossible Assignment. Pranks aren’t just for students! Teachers can use April Fools’ jokes to create fond memories and strengthen relationships. One teacher prank that’s always a big hit is making up a very large word search, with about twenty vocabulary words. However, don’t actually include any of the vocabulary words. That should keep the students busy for a little while. Of course, almost any type of school work would be fitting for this prank; a quiz with no correct answers, a crossword where the obvious answers don’t fit the number of squares, etc. If you’ve graded a class set of papers by the time one of your smart students figures it out, that’s a successful prank!
- Sprays On You. This one is an oldie, but a goodie: Use a rubber band on the sink sprayer handle to keep it pressed down. When the next groggy person goes to turn on the faucet, this prank will make a big splash as the sprayer soaks them. Parents and kids should be warned to use their best judgment when it comes to this gag, though, because the person who gets sprayed might not find it as entertaining or harmless if they’re running late, become easily angered, or aren’t fans of practical jokes.
- Wig Out. If students don’t feel like messing with their Zoom features, they can always opt for an IRL filter by wearing a wig or a silly costume. There’s something inexplicably hilarious about a person in an outrageous outfit going about their daily business (in this case, following along with the virtual lesson hopefully), and the whole class will be laughing along with this silly antic.
- A Whoopee Cushion Never Fails. One of the oldest tricks in the book, the whoopee cushion, never fails to provide a laugh. It’s super funny on Zoom, too, because it’s really hard to figure out which square the offending sound is coming from. Be ready for pure chaos and hilarity to ensue.
- Silly Spiders. If one of the family members in your household is freaked out about creepy crawlies, this April Fools’ prank will definitely get a reaction. Unroll the toilet paper slightly and draw a creepy spider a few sheets in with a marker. Roll it back up and wait for the unsuspecting victim to get a creepy surprise.
According to Brainly’s parenting expert, the shenanigans and hoaxes are only limited by your imagination this April Fools Day as long as you make sure everything you’re doing is in good fun and doesn’t break any rules.
“Furthermore, researchers agree that children who laugh in the classroom and home setting develop strong communication and critical thinking skills, become more creative, and easily cope with stress. When children laugh together in group settings, they build a sense of team comradery, creating a strong bond with their classmates and teachers,” adds Quinn.