Here comes one of the “funnest” holidays! I make the most of April Fool’s Day, because it is a perfect opportunity to be playful, one of the keys to being a great parent! You’ve got to get on it first thing in the morning, before anyone realizes it is April Fool’s Day, so I’ll start with breakfast. Here’s some fun tricks! (Can’t tell you what I have up my sleeve this year, because my kids read my blog!)
Buy plastic lizards, spiders and bugs and wash them really well. Or dig up some from the toy box and give them a washing. Secretly put a creature in the bottom of each bowl, and top with oatmeal and a little milk to make them ready to eat, so they don’t stir it around and discover their little friend before starting to eat. Make the oatmeal special by adding cinnamon, butter and chopped apple pieces to the boiling water before you put in the oatmeal to cook. Put the bowls on the table already served up and dig in. Eeeew!
If nobody likes oatmeal at your house, then you can try a Bungled Breakfast. Serve whatever is not breakfast food: tuna fish + crackers, cold canned corn, olives and pickles, radishes, spaghetti noodles. . . you get the idea. Set the table with pan lids instead of plates, upside down so they sort of roll around on their lid knob, and odd utensils such as an egg beater, potato peeler, or ladle. Everyone drinks out of measuring cups. Print off some goofy jokes (Boy’s Life magazine has plenty) and tape a folded piece of paper with the joke inside to a toothpick. Stick these in the radishes and let the family take turns reading the joke they got. Enjoy!
Nail Polish Disaster
Buy a cheap bottle of nail polish. Dark colors work best! Poor out most of the contents of the bottle into a puddle onto a piece of plastic wrap that is laid on a sturdy paper plate. Lay the empty bottle on its side. Lay the brush coated in nail polish on its side. Let everything dry completely in a hidden spot (about 3-5 days). When your prop is completely dry, peel the nail polish puddle off the plastic wrap. Now you’re ready! To play your trick, lay the dried puddle of nail polish on the page of an open book, planner, calendar, scriptures or other valued item. Lay the brush and nail polish container on their sides nearby, randomly, so it looks like a little one made a mess. Now all you have to do is wait for their discovery, with a loud wail! Followed by a mad, “Mom! That’s not funny!” I think it is!
Dress your baby in something unusual: a Halloween costume, inside-out clothes or his sister’s clothes. It will give him/her lots of attention! And make the kids laugh.
Can you get away with another trick? Muffins would be nice, then! Just make up your normal muffin recipe. Put a little bit of batter in the bottom of each muffin cup. Add a cotton ball. Then scoop muffin batter over it. Bake as usual. Don’t smirk when they bite into their muffins!
Hard at homeschool all morning long!? Take a juice break. Add a tricky ice cube to each opaque cup. (Tricky ice cubes have some obnoxious item that is edible or safe frozen into them: cheerios, a piece of a cracker, a leaf, an olive, etc.) Pour juice over the top and serve. My kids would be so delighted and surprised to get a juice break, that they might not notice until the fun begins!
Nap Time for Mom
Tell your kids that you are really tired (from all the pranks) and that you need to lie down and take a nap. Sneak some pillows and blankets onto the couch and arrange them so it looks like you are buried and comfy. Enjoy your free time! Hee hee.
Cake for Dinner
By now, suspicions may be arising over you and your trustworthiness. But if not, make my meatloaf recipe and bake it in two round cake pans. Whip up some mashed potatoes, very soft by adding a bit more milk when beating them. Get out a pretty cake pedestal (a very necessary part of being a fun mom!) and put the first round of meatloaf on the pedestal. “Frost” with mashed potatoes. Add the top layer of meat loaf and frost remaining layer generously. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Put birthday candles in the top and light them. Tell the kids you are having cake for dinner, for a treat! It makes a lovely layer cake with frosting in the middle when sliced. You might want to use ketchup to write “Surprise!” on the top of the cake for little ones. For bigger kids, you have to be quite discrete or they will find you out before you cut the cake!
If you’ve already tricked them in years past with this cake, trick them again by making cupcakes! Bake meatloaf in foil muffin liner cups. Put a little food coloring into the potato frosting and sprinkle the top with nuts. Fooled you!
We All Scream for Ice Cream
Buy vanilla ice cream in one of those cardboard oval cartons and open the recessed bottom carefully with a sharp knife, cutting along the seam, just a big enough opening to remove ice cream. Remove ice cream through the bottom. Make up a batch of mashed potatoes and pack them into the ice cream carton. Replace the bottom panel carefully. You can secure it with clear packing tape, a toothpick, hot glue gun, or whatever you have on hand. Nobody usually looks at the bottom of an unopened container. Let it freeze up well. Have everyone seated and ask whoever you want to trick if they will scoop. You want everyone to watch them open the container (which has not been opened before). Serve each ice cream scoop with ice cream toppings. Yum yum! Should be a good laugh to see and hear their surprised palettes!
Time for Bed
We’re not done yet! Discretely hand stitch with big stitches the left leg hem on the bottom of your child’s pajamas closed. He’ll put in his right foot first (usually) and then have a bit of trouble with the other pajama leg. Should be tricky getting dressed! Once he figures that out, it’s time to lay down for a good sleep, only the bed sounds crinkly. That’s because you’ve sneaked one of those noisy plastic grocery bags or potato chip bags just under the sheet on the area he would lay down. Once he solves that problem, it really is time to get some sleep! . . . If he can stand the orange that has been stowed secretly into the pillow case on the underside. Will this silly day ever end?