my favorite April Fools prank (of late)

experiences, family, good laughs

Around here my daughter Sophie and I are already planning our April Fools pranks. Bill never remembers the date (even though it’s his sister’s birthday) so he’s always on the receiving end of our pranks. My daughter and I have different pranking styles. I go for one great gesture and she wants to fit as many in a day as possible. As a result, April 1 has become an exhausting day, even for a veteran prankster like myself.

Our pranks fall into four major categories: food, shoes, bed and underwear. Of course there are exceptions like totally wrapping Bill’s office chair in crepe paper or hiding all of the silverware. But food, shoes, bed and underwear are the MVPs of our pranking efforts.

Sometimes it’s things in shoes or hiding all shoes. Then there’s the hiding of one of every shoe. That’s a good one. Other times it’s hiding things in the bed or messing around with the food. One year I swapped out the orange juice for the milk and vice versa. In his drowsy morning state, it took Bill a good 15 seconds to figure out what was going on. He kept looking at the labels on the cartons and what was in the glass. I had to leave the room because I was trying so hard not to burst out laughing.

Over the holidays we played a family board game in our pajamas to determine who would have to make the beds. Bill was, Sophie and I thought, just a little too competitive and won. So when he jumped in the shower we replaced all of the underwear and socks in his dresser with Sophie’s stuffed animals. The stuffed-animals-for-underwear swap is a perennial prank favorite at our house.

Last year I developed my favorite new prank and I’m sharing it with you in early March so you have time to make the necessary preparations.

You’ll need:

a bag of M&Ms or any type of candy that is similar in size and comes in a small bag

a handful of dried kidney beans that is about the same volume as the candy

some double-sided tape

an x-acto knife or box cutter

Here’s what you do:

Find where the UPC code meets the crimped edge of the package. This is the best place because it’s the least noticeable.

Using the x-acto knife, make a small slit in the back side of the package. The slit should be as small as possible but big enough to get the M&Ms out. Last year’s M&Ms were packaged in plastic-coated paper bags, which ripped less easily and were ideal for this prank. This year the packaging seems to have changed. Now the bags seem to be made out of a plastic that rips very easily. If the opening splits wider than you planned, just use a long piece of tape and carefully line up the tape so the opening closes neatly.

Remove the M&Ms and replace them with the kidney beans. You’ll be amazed at how the kidney beans have the same feel as the M&Ms once they’re in the bag.

Carefully cut a piece of double-sided tape the length of the slit. Cut the tape in half lengthwise and discard one half. As neatly as you possibly can, place the remaining piece of tape on the inside of the bag so that the package reseals as cleanly as possible. If you’ve done this very carefully you won’t see the slit at all.

Here’s the preferred strategy: leave the first trick bag on the counter where a child will find it. I promise you that after the kid discovers the prank he or she will want to prepare another bag for someone else. After all, being on the inside of a prank can sometimes be even more fun than being on the receiving end. After the prank-ee discovers that there are beans instead of candy in the bag, I give them the candy that I’ve set aside in a small plastic bag.

It’s hard work coming up with new pranks every year so please leave a comment if you have any new prank ideas for me for this year. And be sure to watch this space on April 1.

14 thoughts on “my favorite April Fools prank (of late)

  1. I wish I had a good one for you because this is awesome. My husband gets into the freezer stash of Chocolate chips so I think I might have to go after those. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I’m going to have to try this on a hike with my friends in the mountains. On another subject, I love the pattern you have in the latest issue of Quilts & More!!!!

  3. Great prank – thanks for sharing!

    Just read the following prank in a mainstream parenting mag: pour milk (or other beverage of choice) into a cup to make it 2/3 full. Freeze the milk in the cup. Keep frozen until prank. To complete prank, fill the remainder of the cup with more milk. When the person drinks the milk, they will wonder why they only get one sip and the remainder is stuck in the cup.

  4. We are pretty boring here. Just the usual swap of salt and sugar–makes that first cup of coffee interesting!

  5. Love it! Definitely going to do it! Thank you for all the ideas. Last year I sewed all of my husband’s underwear together, just a few stitches in the corners of each pair, top pair right corner to next lower pair right corner, that pair to the third pair down on the left corners, and so on, so that by the time I was done all the underwear came out of the drawer in a long string, like scarves out of a magician’s sleeve. He’s not a morning person, so it was very funny watching him try to figure out what was going on.

  6. Hi Weeks, how are you? Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to meet when you and yours came up to Canada and lectured for our Guild (Flying Needles). I did however, make it to the trunk show and helped Bill out as well as the Sat workshop – which I loved!!
    I love your sense of humour and it’s too bad we didn’t get to meet but I hope to stay connected with you and Bill through your blog.
    If you have a chance, please check mine out also – thanks so much!


  7. Hello there, Happy April Fool’s Day!

    Doctor: You’re in good health. You’ll live to be eighty.
    Patient: But, doctor, I am 80 right now.
    Doctor: See, what did I tell you.

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

  8. My favorite April Fool’s prank was on my dad years ago. He was forever getting me and I planned this one out in advance. It was the early 80’s and my parents had a waterbed. I tiptoed into their room and sprinkled a little water on the sheet and tiptoed back out. Then I came in loud and gangly like normal and exclaimed, “Dad! There’s a leak in the mattress!” Or something to that affect. He leapt out of bed frantically grabbing something to cover up with (he slept in the buff and was rather shy)all the while yelling at my mom to get out of bed. She just laid their giggling. The look on his face when I said April Fool’s was the best. It took him years to get me back. He put the Far Side daily calendar April 1st page in an envelope the police use for issuing parking tickets. Placed it on my car windshield while I wasn’t home. He called me later in the day asking me to get the VIN # from the car. The joke ended up being on him because I didn’t see the “ticket” until the next day. He was just as confused as I was until I called him on April 2nd laughing. Love April Fool’s Day!

  9. I am really enjoying your prank posts! A favourite magazine of mine is Canadian Living and they often have articles on April Fools pranks. I did the one where I made “fish fingers” for dinner but they were really bananas rolled in peanut butter and toasted coconut. The oven mitts and a “piping hot” tray added to it. Another classic is treat juice (which we almost never have) but which is really jello in the glass. When I was a kid, my mother pulled a prank on us by removing most of the underwear from the drawer and sewing the legs shut on the remaining pairs. Another stand-by for her was changing all the clocks ahead by an hour so we would think we were late for school. Then there’s the old saran wrap in the sandwich gag, not to mention mashed potatoes for ice cream. Thanks for the great pamphlet on Chore Camp – that’s what my kids are getting this year for April Fools Day!

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