April 1st, sometimes called All Fool’s Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year and nobody is really clear where its origins begin.
It is celebrated in many countries around the western world, e.g. in the UK and Ireland, Italy, France, Belgium and French speaking countries like Canada and Switzerland, European northern countries and the USA.
On April Fools’ Day, practices include sending someone on a “fool’s errand”, like looking for things that don’t exist, playing tricks and pranks and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.
In France, April 1st is called Poisson d’Avril or “April Fish”. French children sometimes stick a picture of a fish on the back of their school friends and shout out “Poisson d’Avril” when the prank is discovered. In the UK, all the pranks have to be done before 12 o’clock midday or the person who does the prank is the fool!
Starting at around age seven or so, many children graduate from just telling jokes to actually playing pranks and it is an excellent sign of healthy mental development, showing that they can formulate and carefully execute a plan. It helps them feel confident that they can manipulate their environment to make a certain effect on the world. It also gives a big thrill, since they are the ones in charge and giving surprises - a rare power play for a child!
Here are just some ideas to brighten up everybody’s day:
Upside Down House
After everyone goes to bed, turn as many things upside down as you can, including framed pictures, clocks, chairs and toys. When the family wakes up in the morning, they’ll do a double-take and wonder what happened!
Over the sink, poke tiny pinholes into a plastic water bottle using a sewing needle. Gently wipe down the outside and set the bottle on the counter. When someone picks it up, the pressure of their hand will cause a light spray of water to go everywhere!
The Whoopee Cushion
Put a whoopee cushion on a chair and cover it with a normal cushion and watch everyone’s faces as they sit on it!
Hide plastic insects in sandwich bags and snack boxes to give that extra surprise when it is snack time! Funny Milk Put a few drops of coloured food colouring in the milk and watch your family’s faces as they pour the milk on their cereals at breakfast time! Stuck Coin Super-glue a coin to the pavement and watch people try to pick it up. You will have a lot of fun!
food colouring in the milk and watch your family’s faces as they pour the milk on their cereals at breakfast time!
Super-glue a coin to the pavement and watch people try to pick it up. You will have a lot of fun!