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Younger kids love the idea of pranking someone else, but HATE when they’re pranked themselves. There were tears in my house until I made it a fun celebration.
As a homeschool mom I looked up the history behind April Fools Day and discovered that one theory was that it was based on Persian celebration Sizdah Bedar – the last phase of the Persian New Year. The custom is to spend the day outdoors in the park or the countryside. They believe that during this time Joy and Laughter clean the mind from all evil thoughts so the picnic is usually a festive or happy event.
I thought this sounded like a fun way to celebrate April Fools Day so we had a Joy & Laughter Picnic every year.
Our “Joy & Laughter” Picnic
We always have a picnic, no matter what the weather.
We live in northern Ontario, Canada, so April 1st can be summery warm like it’s going to be this year, or it can be sunny but wintery like it was on our first April Fool’s day picnic.
No matter the weather we’ve always had our picnic, even if we had to have it on a blanket spread on the living room floor in front of the fireplace due to blizzard conditions outside. Just deciding where to have the picnic can bring joy and laughter!
You can get children’s sunglasses in any department store, but here are some that are a little different – or can be a craft project – from Designed 2B Sweet:
We always wore a silly hat too. Make your silly hat one of your kids April Fools Day activities.
How to Make Paper Hats from a Newspaper
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Another Silly Hats Craft – with a FREE (or very cheap) hat
- Go to your local paint store and ask them if you can buy a white painter’s hat for your kids. (They’ll probably give it to you for free because most paint stores provide them free with a paint purchase.)
- Kids can add their own decorations such as adhesive jewels, foam shapes*, and stickers* or paint them with fabric markers*, glitter glue pens* or spray bottle fabric paint*
And then came the jokes. . .
The kids would tell jokes while we ate our lunch; the jokes got better as they got older but it was always interesting to see what they considered funny at the time.
Of course there was the “bodily function” period when fart jokes were a hit, the good old “knock, knock” era that parents are glad to see pass, and then true witticism as they matured. (Come to think of it, they still throw in a fart joke now and then. Some jokes are timeless I guess!)
April Fool’s Day Continues into the Night
In Europe April Fools Day ends at noon, but in North America we continue on until the day’s end. Here are some ideas how to celebrate April Fool’s Day into the evening.
April Fool’s Day “Backwards” Dinner
Here’s an incredible April Fool’s Day cupcake – a Meatloaf Cupcake!
Just cook your usual meatloaf mixture in your muffin pan for 20 minutes. When it’s cooled top with Mashed Potatoes to look like icing and a dab of catsup or cherry tomato for a cherry on top.
This is the perfect beginning to a backwards meal because it makes it look like you’re having dessert first. Don’t say a word – just wait for their reaction when the figure it out for themselves!
(Here’s another little secret: my kids love, love, love meatloaf cupcakes all year round and I love them as a fast and easy meal.)
TLC has a fun and easy cookie pizza for dessert. If you’d prefer to make the pizza crust from your family’s favorite cookie recipe rather than cookie dough from the store, all the better.
If your child has allergies, here is a gluten-free cookie pizza recipe from Chex. You can use Divvies chocolate chips and candies as toppings that contain no nuts, no eggs and no dairy.
TV Dinner Cupcakes
These cupcakes are so much fun for dessert and make the day extra memorable. They are very easy to make but look like you’ve worked oh-so-hard.
See our article with step by step instructions.
See our April Fools Day backwards party printables for these cupcake toppers and more.
April Fool’s Day Murder Mystery Game
This game has been passed down thru the family – I can remember playing it as a kid with my grandparents, aunts & uncles and extended family. In fact, I do recall that as soon as they turned the lights out to play the game my uncle and aunt who were dating at the time, used to find a corner for a secret kiss.
The more people that play the better, but we’ve played with just the five of us in our family. Make enough slips of paper for each participant to have one. Write “Detective” on one slip and “Murderer” on another and then “Victim” on the remaining slips of paper. (If you have a large group of people, you can have two detectives.)
Put the slips of paper in a bowl and ask each person to select a slip, look at it and then hand it back to you to be used in the next game. Instruct them not to tell anyone what their slip says or to react in a way that people will know. After everyone has received their slips the detectives indicate who they are and leave the room. The lights are turned out and everyone else finds a place to hide in the dark. Whoever received the “Murderer” slip of paper silently counts to 25 and then tries to find someone in the dark. Once he finds a victim he whispers to them “You’re dead”, the victim screams, the lights are turned on and everyone scrambles to their seats except the dead person who strikes a death pose.
The detectives are called back into the room to see the victim. They proceed to ask everyone else questions such as “where were you”, “what were you doing”, until they think they know who did it. They take a guess at who they think is the guilty party. (You may have to set a time limit for guessing because some people just can’t make up their minds.) The fun part of the game is the lying part! Everyone makes up stories as alibis, and the wittier the better. If the detective guessed correctly the murderer is the detective for the next game. If he guesses incorrectly the murderer identifies himself and all slips of paper are put back into the bowl for the next round.
Did this information help you?
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Once a week we'll tell you the upcoming daily celebrations & the articles you may have missed.