2020 and 2021 are not exactly going to go down in history for being the easiest school years of all time. The pandemic has brought its challenges for sure, so why not welcome any and all excuses to have some fun with your students? This year especially, kids will love seeing you show your goofy prankster side! Here are a few simple ideas to make this April Fool’s Day a memorable one for your class.
Tell your class that they are going to have a math quiz today. Be as serious as you can about it…you might tell them you’re going to use it for report cards and will be sending it home for their parents to see. Do your whole normal routine when you’re about to give a test, which probably includes telling them there is no talking, maybe setting up privacy screens, etc. Pass out the quizzes (it’s a good idea to tell them to keep their paper face down before it’s time to start, and no peeking). When everyone’s ready, tell them to flip it over and begin.
Then just sit back and be entertained by all the confusion that will occur when they start reading word problems like this:
You can play up the seriousness as much as you want (i.e., “Sorry, I can’t help because this is a test. Just do your best!”)
Get creative and make your own ridiculous quiz for any skill or grade level subject. Or if the one I shared above works for your students and you want to save yourself some time, click here and I’d be happy to email you a free copy!
Please Use Other Door
This is a fun one if you only have one door to your classroom (and bonus, it’s super low-prep). Stick a sign on the outside of your door that says, “Please Use Other Door.” Not only will your students get a kick out of it, but it’s also sure to bring a smile to any co-workers or other visitors you have to your room that day.
Eye am watching you!
Buy a bulk pack of googly eyes. Make sure to get the “peel and stick” kind so that they’re as quick and easy to use as stickers. The day before April 1st, stick googly eyes on students’ supplies (if possible, enlist some past students/older kids who can help out with this after school to save you time).
Your kids’ reactions will be priceless the next day when they take out their pencil box, notebook, etc. and are surprised to find that they’re being watched!
Trick or Treat
Food makes everything better in life, and it’s no different when it comes to pranks. Give your students a treat that turns out to be a trick! Some ideas for this:
- Baby carrots wrapped in Tootsie Roll or Double Bubble gum wrappers
- Veggie pops (a lollipop stick with the candy removed, and a head of broccoli stuck in its place)
- Undrinkable juice (clear plastic drinking cups with strawberry Jell-O and a straw stuck inside)
- An oldie but goodie: Brown E’s (tell the kids you made them brownies and give them each a brown paper cutout of the letter E)
If you’re feeling in a generous mood, you might choose to give your kids an actual sweet treat after playing the trick on them.
You’re on Mute!
“You’re on mute” might just be the most-often said phrase of 2020-2021. If you’re teaching virtually and want to play a quick little trick on your kiddos, make sure your mic is on and start talking without any sound coming out of your mouth (think lip-syncing, but without the music). Your kids will most likely try to tell you that your mic is on mute, only to be confused when they realize that it isn’t. Warning: it might be hard to keep a straight face!
“What’s wrong with the sink?!”
Hand washing is at an all-time high, so this is an especially appropriate prank for this year. Grab a cheap Easter Egg dying kit that comes with those little color pellets that you drop into the vinegar mixture. Using a tiny piece of adhesive (like duct tape or wall mounting tape), attach a pellet or two to the inside of your classroom sink faucet. An alternative could be to use a Q-tip and gel food coloring to line the inner rim of the faucet.
When students go to wash their hands, they will be dumbfounded to see color water coming out of the faucet!
This is another one where helpers (students from past years, etc.) would come in handy. The day before April Fool’s Day, turn all the desks, tables, and other furniture in your classroom upside down. Bonus points if you can be extra detailed and flip over smaller things upside down too, like charts/posters, books on display, etc. When your class walks in the next morning, act completely shocked and pretend you have no idea what happened. And be sure to have them help you turn everything right side up again!
Where Donuts Come From
This one works best with little ones, but older kids might find it amusing too. Before April Fool’s Day, tell everyone that they’re going to do a class science experiment. Get a pot of soil and have them each drop a Cheerio inside (Fruit Loops would work too). Cover it up with the soil, and you can even make a big show of pouring a little water on top. You might choose to have them predict what will happen to the cereal over time.
Then, on April Fool’s Day, put a bunch of donuts (or bagels, as an alternative) where the pot of soil was. In your most surprised voice, say, “Oh my goodness, what happened to our Cheerios?!”
Other than the classic reactions, the best part is that your class gets to have a little donut (or bagel) party too!
Got any favorites here? If you try any of these out, I’m not fooling when I say that I’d love to hear how it goes! Hope you have a fun-filled April Fool’s Day with your class this year!