Harmless April Fools’ Day Prank

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Originally published March 18, 2014 and updated January 2021.

Looking for an April Fool’s prank to play on your kids or roommates? This one is harmless and so easy to play with things you probably already have at home.

I appreciate a good prank. I enjoy playing a prank and I enjoy being pranked….as long as the prank is harmless. I’ve played pranks on roommates, co-workers, friends and, of course, my children. This year I’m planning on playing a harmless April Fools’ Day prank on my kids for breakfast.  Shhh, don’t tell them.

Top - scrabble letters spelling words reading Harmless April Fools Day Prank, bottom - cereal and beads mixed in bowl with green glass of milk

Kid Friendly April Fool’s Pranks

  • Some children find pranks and jokes fun and other children don’t. You know your child best. If they won’t enjoy a prank, don’t play it on them.
  • Depending on the schedule for the day, consider whether playing a prank will be appreciated or will simply add to the stress of an already stressful day.
  • Pranks that surprise the person, but don’t embarrass them are best for children.
  • Children appreciate the unexpected and ridiculous, so simply placing the box of cereal in the refrigerator and the spoons in the pantry can be a big hit with younger children.
  • Remember that you’re setting an example for your children, so don’t be surprised when they try to prank you. Be sure to explain your family’s guidelines for playing pranks.
  • Always remember that pranks should be fun for both parties, not just for the prank player.
scrabble tiles spelling out "April Fools Day Prank"

This is a super easy and harmless April Fools’ Day prank that will surprise your target first thing in the morning at breakfast when they least suspect a prank.

It uses items you probably already have at home.

Please make sure that you only try these pranks if you do not have young children in the house or anyone who would not understand that they are being pranked. Do not play this prank if the person might try to eat the cereal with the trinkets.

Harmless April Fool’s Day Prank

Start with your target’s favorite box of cereal.  Remove the cereal and place it in a clean container. Replace the cereal in the box with beads.  Add about a cup of the cereal on top of the beads in the box to camouflage your prank just in case your target looks into the box before pouring.

beads on a table

Other prank items you can use:

  • marbles
  • paper clips
  • LEGO blocks
  • pennies
  • pebbles
  • play figurines
  • hair clips

When they pour their morning bowl of cereal – surprise! April Fool’s!

bowl of cereal and beads

Add a second prank to the morning by also altering the milk.

By adding some food coloring to your milk carton, you get harmless April Fool’s Day prank number 2 with very little effort.  Add a little food coloring at a time so you can find the right color intensity.

It’s also best not to tint an entire container of milk in case your child won’t drink it when it’s not a “normal” color.

The surprise works best if your milk carton or jug is opaque so they don’t expect unusually colored milk until it’s pouring into their glass or bowl.

glass of green milk

Pranking first thing in the morning works great because people are still foggy and waking up. It can also make the rest of the day seem more exciting, particularly for children.

Just be sure to talk about the parameters on playing pranks on people in your family and especially people outside of your family.

More harmless April Fools’ Day Prank Ideas:

What a fun way to start April Fool’s Day – with a harmless April Fool’s Day prank or two. Be sure to pin for next year’s harmless prank inspiration.

Box of cereal pouring cereal and beads into bowl with glass of green milk

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  1. Hi Susan – I love your sense of humor and love these fun and harmless pranks. Can’t wait to hear how your family pranks you! Hugs, Holly

  2. This is a really cute idea! When I first saw the cereal, I wondered what the prank was, it looked real at first glance! The milk idea is great too. I need to go out and find an opaque container!

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  4. This is such a good prank that is harmless and sure to start the laughter and fun in any house on April 1st. I love it!

  5. I like the food coloring idea in the milk… but… the beads can hurt or break teeth if you crunch down on them too hard. Also, can beads be digested if accidentally swallowed? They are plastic (poisonous) I don’t know about that. Just saying.

    1. I agree, Steph. This would only be an appropriate prank for someone able to comprehend that they should not eat the cereal. I wouldn’t want anyone misunderstanding!

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