April Fools Day is the time when the jokesters of our class get to have their day. But what about us teachers…? We can definitely play a prank or two on our students that day as well. This year especially, I wanted to do something that would make my students laugh (we all know they deserve a light-hearted day). So, I asked my teaching colleagues in the Fearless First Grade group the best April Fools Day pranks they have played on their students. I am torn between doing #1 and #6. I may just have to do both. 😉😂
Prank 1. Brown E’s
Tell your students that you are giving them brownies at the end of the school day. For the prank to work, you will need to have a tray covered with aluminum foil. Under the tray will be letter E’s cut out of brown construction paper. Uncover the tray and give each student a brown ‘E’. I always give them actual brownies after the prank is over. 🍫
2. Difficult Spelling Test
“I gave my kids a ridiculously hard spelling test one year. I made it to like word #6 before I completely lost it…and only because I had a kid start crying!” -Brittany N.
“Fake spelling test with nonsense words! So funny!” -Meg K.
“I gave my kids a spelling test a couple of years ago and told them to exchange papers for grading. Then I spelled the words incorrectly and tried my hardest to stifle my laughter as the kids gave me the funniest puzzled and confused expressions!” -Ara B.
3. The Teacher Switch
I’ve done this one a couple of times. You and a teammate walk out and grab each other’s students and take them into your classroom and start teaching like it is any regular day. Students usually just stand there and stare at me like I’ve lost my mind. 🤯 LOL
“My grade level partner and I lead our class into each other’s rooms every year. We act like they are joking when they protest. Afterward, they laugh about it all day. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just silly.
“Quite a few years ago, all the teachers and staff drew names and switched teaching roles for the entire morning. The principal was the PE teacher, the 1st-grade teacher was now in 4th grade, etc. The kids loved the switched-up roles, and it was a good challenge for the staff to step into someone else’s shoes for a bit!” -Jen K.
Prank 4. April Fools Day Wordsearch
“I give my students an April Fool’s Day Word Search that has none of the words they are searching for.”
5. The Big Test
“My best was 20 years ago when I taught 5th grade. I borrowed standardized testing booklets from the office (we had taken them a couple of weeks prior). They questioned why I was bringing them back and I told them their answer sheets had been destroyed during the grading process and we needed to do the whole battery of tests over. (It was a Friday. I told them we couldn’t give up a whole week again so they had to be finished that afternoon and Monday morning). I started in on the official script, but when they got to the part about opening the test booklet to page 3, I had tucked in a note “April Fools”. -Deborah P.
6. Find the Bird 🐦
“Loof Lirpa bird! We take the kids outside, have them hold up marshmallows, and call for the bird. Then spell it on the blacktop and have them read it backward…” -Wendy M.
You can do this virtually also… 👇🏼
“I recorded a video of myself explaining that there is a rare bird that only comes out on days like today, I used the weather I think so they didn’t catch on to April first, and that students should go outside with a treat and call Loof Lirpa three times and the bird will come and swoop down and get the treat from their hands. Then I said if it didn’t work, try to say its name backward when calling for it. I asked them to do it with their big people recording so they could remember what the bird looked like because it’s so rare. Then asked parents/guardians to post videos!” -Ruthie S.
Prank 7. Donut Seeds
“I brought in a “glazed donut” bouquet and after we ate the donuts, I asked my students if they wanted to grow their own donuts with the donut seeds. I gave each student a baggie of Cheerios and told them to plant them at home if they wanted to have their own donuts.
8. Mystery Jelly Beans
“I made bags of regular jelly beans and wrote a note on each one “Try if you Dare”. Most of them thought they were bamboozled jelly beans and swore they had the nasty ones. One poor girl was upset because she didn’t “get” any nasty ones. Talk about the power of suggestion.”
9. Missing Card
Share a card game with your students, but have one of the cards missing. I usually do this with an I Have, Who Has? game.
Prank 10. Fool the Parents
“I don’t play one on my students, but we play a prank on their parents. They all get a giant, red sad face in their folders (if they want to participate) and take it home. I tell them to act really sad and when their parents open it up they have to say April Fools!” -Kate B.
11. What Kind of Cupcakes are These?
“I made cupcakes for the kids one year…made with pickle juice. Some loved them, others not so much. Lol. To this day, they still mention my cupcakes. Lol”. -Julie T.
Extend this activity by having your students write about what they tasted and how the cupcake looked.
12. Free iPad
“Give everyone a free eye pad.” ~ Shane G.
Prank 13. Foot Doctor 🦶
“At my old school, the whole grade level had a “foot doctor” skit. We told the kids a foot doctor was coming to examine everyone’s feet (kinda like the hearing/vision tests they do). We had an elaborate script to read about how to put our feet up on the desk, take our shoes off, clean our feet in a very specific way, etc. It was so silly and hard not to laugh, the kids loved how ridiculous it was.” -Jessica H.
“Told them we had to remove shoes and socks and keep our feet up on the desk for the nurse to do a foot check. My second graders sat like that for quite a bit while working before I told them. Got some great pictures.” -Katherine C.
14. Spider!!! 🕷
“I put a fake tarantula in our ceiling light. I put an upside-down styrofoam cup on the table and wrote on it, “DON’T LIFT! SPIDER TRAPPED!”, and then broke off a few pieces of the cup to look like it escaped! They all wondered where it went. One kid finally saw the silhouette of it in the fluorescent light above him and freaked out!”
Or… for a staff prank 😉
“I also go into the bathrooms and unroll the toilet paper a little way and draw a black spider with a Sharpie…and then roll it back up again!!”
15. Flood Drill
“I told my kids that we were having a flood drill. They are used to tornado drills, fire drills, etc. I had them take off their shoes and socks, roll up their pants and sit up on top of their tables. Lol”
“A flood drill. Students had to pull their pant legs up and tippy-toe to the exits.” -Monique G.
Prank 16. Bye-Bye to Teacher
“Not mine, but one year a teacher friend pretended to get called to the principal’s office, and then the PE coach came to the classroom saying the regular teacher got fired and he was going to be their teacher for the rest of the year. The kids were freaking out, especially when the PE coach tried to start teaching magic e and had no clue what he was doing.” -Erin W.
17. Where’s my Chair? 🪑
“I took all of their chairs and hid them in the bathroom in our room. They didn’t know what to say or do!”
Then it is floor and clipboards to the rescue!
18. Tasty Snack
“Make worms using jello and straws and eat in front of the kids or vanilla pudding in a mayo jar.” -Andrea D.
“I’ve put yogurt in a mayo jar and taken some huge bites in front of my students. Their faces are priceless.” -Jen H.
Prank 19. Tired Teacher 😴
“One year in kindergarten, I put a bathrobe on over my clothes and snuggled up on the floor with a pillow and blanket. As the kids arrived they shushed one another as they found their teacher asleep. After most of them were there I rolled over and in fake panic mode shouted out that my alarm didn’t go off and I didn’t have time to get ready for school! Then, April Fools! Some of them still thought I slept at school for the rest of the year!” -Patty S.
I hope that you have found one or two April Fools Day pranks that you can use in your classroom this year. These are great and I’m having a very hard time deciding which one I’m going to choose. My students may just have to deal with a few that day. LOL
If you have any April Fools Day pranks for teachers that you would like to add to this list, please leave them in the comments below. We also welcome pictures 📷 after you have fooled your students this year.
Written by: Janessa Fletcher
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