Calendar: There’s trickery afoot…

Sunday, 29 March 2009

It's just around the corner... beware the pranksters on April 1!

April Fool’s Day can be traced back to the 16th Century when the Gregorian calendar first came into place. Before that time, the new year was celebrated at the end of March with a two week celebration ending on April first. Once the new calendar came in, those who still celebrated the old calendar were thought of as ignorant, uneducated fools, and so the April Fool was born.

Get into the spirit of this day of trickery by trying some of these pranks on your unsuspecting family, friends and children. Just make sure you get to it before the kids do. Happy tricking!


Short Sleep – Kids, it means you have to remake the bed (ugh!), but it’s worth the uncomfortable squirm when Mum or Dad try to get in for a good night’s sleep! Simply remake their bed with one sheet only. Tuck it into the top of the bed then smooth it down and fold it back onto itself as though mimicking a top sheet. Cover with a blanket or quilt. Wait for the yelling!

Suspect Sneeze – Wet your hand with water, pretend to sneeze, and shake the water on someone when they aren’t looking. Eww!

Sky High – Next time you’re outside with your friends, look up and point at the sky and talk amongst yourselves nervously. Watch the reaction of people around you!

Grubby Apple – Make a deep hole in an apple with a pencil. Insert a gummy worm or other fake critter you can find. Leave it in the fruit bowl and it may give Mum a fright!

Sweet and Savory – Switch the sugar in the sugar bowl for some salt. Next time Dad puts a teaspoon of sweetener in his coffee, the joke will be on him!

Undies on Parade – With a needle and thread (maybe with Mum’s help), sew the edges of Dad’s underpants together. Only a few loose stitches will do. Neatly fold them back in his drawer and watch his face when he tries to bite them apart with his teeth!


Off Milk – Add a few drops of green food colouring to milk. When the kids pour it onto their cereal, watch them gag!

Switcheroo – When the kids are fast asleep (check they are in a deep sleep), gather them up and swap them into each others’ beds. They will wake up not knowing where they are!

Shonky Socks – Stuff tissues or toilet paper into the toes of the kids’ socks and watch them squirm trying to get dressed for school.

Sweet Meal – This sneaky dinner will fool your children for an instant, but as they tuck in wholeheartedly, alas . . . the joke will be on mum! For the 'meat', fold desiccated coconut into melted chocolate and shape into little meatballs. Drizzle these with 'spaghetti sauce' – puréed strawberries, sweetened with some honey. For 'potato', scoop vanilla ice cream onto the plates at the very last minute. Hunt for round, green candies to pass for 'peas'.

Potato Cakes – Watch the kids recoil in horror when they taste these 'sweet' cupcakes – they are really mini (but delicious) shepherd's pies! Line a cupcake tin with paper pattypans and fill half-way with warm shepherd’s pie mince (Google a recipe if you don’t have your own favourite). Mash cooked potatoes, then whip them to a smooth consistency with lots of milk, some cream cheese and a pair of electric beaters. Divide the mash into three bowls and tint with food colouring. Pipe the soft mash on top of each 'cupcake' and dust with a few sprinkles. Tell the kids they can have cupcakes for dinner!

First published, in part, on the beijingkids website.

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