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The best April Fools pranks for teachers to play in 2023

March 19, 2023

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April 1st, the one day of the year that everyone can show a small sense of humanity, relax a little, and try to pull off a harmless prank.

And we’re not just talking about the best pranks to play on your students, but also on your fellow teachers.

Just remember that at the end of the day, April fool’s day pranks cut both ways. Once you get a reputation, others will be looking to return the favor.

April fools’ day jokes on students

A fun way to connect with our students is to pull a good April fools joke on them. It helps to be a good actor for most of these pranks, but even if you aren’t you can still pull it off if your students aren’t expecting it.

Switch classrooms

Looking for a little fun without doing too much prep? Find another teacher willing to switch classes with you and start teaching their class. Act like nothing happened, that it’s completely normal. Want to make it even better? Switch grade levels.

It’s up to you how far you take it, feel free to give a pop quiz or start a discussion over a topic they don’t know.

Impossible word search

Create a word search, but make sure none of the words you give them are available inside the search. See how long it takes your kids to figure it out.

Donuts day

Bring in a “box of glazed donuts” for the kids as a reward for their hard work. Switch out the glazed donut though for veggies. Make sure the box doesn’t have a part you can see through, so try using something like a Krispy Kreme box if possible.

Brown E

A classic prank often played on younger students. Students love food, so why not promise them brownies for all their hard work and great behavior? Make sure you have several trays covered in tin foil where the students can see them, but not touch them.

Inside each tray is a pile of letter E’s that you’ve printed out (that are brown), or cut out some brown construction paper.

If you feel so inclined, having a batch of actual brownies makes the joke much easier to take.

Nonsense spelling contest

Have a spelling contest for your students, but have them spell nonsense words. Or take it to another level and have the first round be regular words, then substitute the nonsense words in the second round.

Candy switch

A good April fool’s day prank, but one that requires you to do some work ahead of time. Take candy wrappers and use them to cover up vegetables. Tootsie Rolls filled with carrots, Lindt chocolate balls replaced with baby tomatoes.

Flood drill

Obviously this one is not one of those hilarious pranks if you live in a flood zone. But assuming you don’t, let them know this was just added by the state as a mandated drill. You can have them roll up their pants, take off their shoes and socks, stand on their seats, or whatever else comes to mind. Especially a good prank if you work in an arid area.

Free money

I remember an older teacher doing this in my hallway the first year I was teaching. Maybe don’t do it in your room or hallway unless you want the maintenance person mad at you though.

Glue a quarter to the ground, and watch kids walking by try to grab it and stumble as they try to keep walking.

The same teacher also used the classic dollar bill on a string to amazing effect. And these were all high school students!

Screen flip

On a Windows system, Cntrl + Alt + one of the arrow keys will flip your screen. On a Chromebook, it’s Cntrl + Shift + refresh button.

Stapled

Hand out a packet for your students to work on for the day, but make sure the entire class gets a packet with staples around the outside (or at least the 4 corners).

Sleeping teacher

Leave the door open to your room, but prepare a little sleeping spot for yourself. Lots of younger kids think their teachers live in their rooms, so why not embrace it? Grab a blanket, put a robe around your clothes, and pretend to be sleeping as they come in. Watch the kids reaction when they walk into class!

Mayo snack

A funny prank is to take a mayonnaise jar and clean it out the night before. Then replace the mayo with vanilla pudding and eat it in front of the kids.

Donut seeds

A popular joke in elementary schools, fill some baggies with frosted Cheerios. Tell the students they can plant donut plants at home, just add water (or milk). Want to take it to the next level? Print out some directions on how to properly plant and maintain their donut plant.

Cockroaches

Get some fake cockroaches and put them in your lights. Once you turn the lights on, watch everyone’s reaction.

Candy mix up

Hand out some bags of candy without mentioning what’s in them. Mix together M&M’s, Skittles, and Reese’s Pieces.

Parking ticket

Teaching older students? Create fake parking tickets and put them on the windshields in the parking lot. A good way to prank students in large groups.

Teach a fake lesson

Teach a lesson on a fake topic. Need help writing the lesson, use ChatGPT to help you write a fake article on a topic, then come up with a few discussion questions and a quick research activity.

Fabulous field trip

This is a great joke if you can get a bus driver in on it. Have your kids hurry up and get on the bus, then drive them around the parking lot and bring them right back. Amazing field trip!

April fools’ day jokes on coworker

Broken mouse

Use some strong double sided tape to tape down their mouse. One of the easier office pranks to pull.

Or you can just put a piece of paper over the sensor, it accomplishes the same thing but is a little less obvious.

Toilet issues

Put some coffee grinds in the tank of the toilet. The brown water that appears after they flush will have them thinking twice. One of the easy pranks you can pull.

Oreo delight

This is one of the more disgusting April fools’ jokes on this list. Taste-wise at least. Take some Oreo cookies and twist them apart, then replace the filling with toothpaste or mayo.

Stranger danger

Use a suction cup to attach a picture of a face outside their window, then pull the shades down. Or grab an old Halloween costume mask.

Whistle car

Tape a harmonica under the front of their car. Once they get going fast enough they’ll hear a noise they can’t recognize.

Spray time

A classic is the old rubber band on the faucet. Arranged correctly you’ll get a nice spray over the person in the bathroom. One of the favorite pranks of people in my dorm. Also on the list of ideas that may not go over well, depending on who is on the receiving end.

Warning

Even teachers with the best of intentions can run into issues these days. No one wants fun pranks to turn into a trip to the principal’s office or an angry parent email. You know your class better than anyone else, so you know which practical jokes will go over better than others.

The idea is to give everyone a good laugh, and have a little fun. School tends to be a little too rigid, especially for high school students. Which of course means that an April fools’ day prank is more likely to work, as they are not expecting it.

April fool’s day jokes are meant to be fun, and the key is to make sure you don’t take it too far.

That being said, if you can pull off one of the best April fools day pranks, you’ll be making a lifetime memory for your students.

I still run into students who can remember what I pulled off 20 years ago.

So bring some joy back to your class with a fun activity that will keep them on their toes the rest of the year.

If you need any help with your professional development, let us know at Midwest Teachers Institute, we’re here to help. Our prices are no joke…

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