Rise and Shine
Sometimes the best pranks are the simplest. Wake your child up earlier than normal, telling him he missed the bus and is late for school. Bonus: It makes your morning easier, since, well, they’re up early.
On the Move
Before your child gets home from school, put a “For Sale” sign in front your house. (You can buy one for a few bucks at dollar or big box stores.) If you are feeling really ambitious, leave a bunch of half-filled cardboard boxes in his room to freak him out even more.
Start the Day with a Bang
Sometimes drastic measures need to be taken to get a sleepy child moving. Tape a party popper to her door so that when she opens it, POP! That will wake her up really fast.
The night before, fill a bowl with cereal, pour in milk (or water), and then put the bowl in the freezer. The next morning, savor your kid’s confounded stares.
He Did What?!
Pick up the phone and pretend the principal is on the other line. Use your best acting skills and pretend to be horrified over any number of offenses.
When the kids get home from school, tell them you've made a big batch of delicious “brownies.” Be sure to have your phone camera recording to capture the moment when they tear off the tin foil to reveal a pan full of letter Es cut from brown construction paper.
If your children are heavy sleepers (but not too heavy to lift), carefully switch them into their sibling’s bed. It’s a hilarious way to start the day, for them and you.
Stick It to Them
Candied apples are delicious. But tomatoes? Not so much. And that’s why it’s the perfect joke for snack time. With the kits found in the produce section of your supermarket, you can easily candy an under-ripe tomato.
I’ve Got My Eye on You!
Stick self-adhesive googly eyes to everything in your fridge. And we mean everything, from the eggs to the ketchup to the mayonnaise jar. Your kids will be in for a surprise when they grab the juice in the morning.
You’re out of Luck…y Charms
Switch the bag of your child’s favorite cereal with another cereal, like dad’s bran flakes. Who knows? He may even find he likes the healthy stuff.
Our faithful Facebook followers chimed in with their own kid-friendly pranks and traditions:
"I've served backwards meals, like meatloaf and mashed potato 'cupcakes' or pound cake and yellow icing 'grilled cheese.'"
- Jenn Liberi Cipolla, NJ
"We made a word search of spring words, but none of them were in the puzzle! The first few letters were included, but the rest weren't."
- Meenal Patel Parikh, OH
"Short-sheet their beds: Pull flat sheet to head of bed; tuck in. Place pillow on top. Pull bottom of flat sheet up toward pillow. Hide fold with a blanket."
- Tom Booth, P&C Staffer