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Classful

April 1st might be the best holiday of the year.

Why? Because it allows us to channel our inner child and get silly for a few hours, pulling pranks and executing hilarious practical jokes. And as teachers, we have the perfect audience to play some harmless pranks on – our students! Seeing our students’ faces confused at the absurdity and then light up as they realize you’re pulling a fun prank is one of the best experiences you can have as a teacher (after watching them enjoy and succeed in class, of course!).

If you’re a teacher or school administrator and want to prank your students this April Fool’s Day, read on. We have a list of pranks you won’t be able to resist. The only problem with these pranks is deciding which one to do first!

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19 amazing April Fool’s Day pranks for teachers and schools

1 – The fake exam

Perhaps one of the oldest pranks known to teacher-kind, putting on a fake exam that is impossible to answer is a fun way to get your students involved in April Fool’s Day. You could do a standard exam in silence or a word search. Or, if you want to make it interactive, try doing the impossible spelling bee. That’s where you make up your own words for your students to spell with ludicrous spelling. Throw in some umlauts, tildes, and other foreign letters to confuse your kids!

Check out this teacher doing his impossible spelling bee!

2 – Do you want a “brownie”?

Who doesn’t like brownies?! Offer your students a brownie because they’ve been awesome so far this year. The trick is you’re not going to give them actual brownies. You’re going to give them… ..BROWN E’S! Print out many “E” printable coloring pages and color them brown. Then hand them out and watch your students’ faces change between disappointment, confusion, and amusement! You can always give them a real brownie afterward if you feel so inclined!

3 – Classroom in the upside down

Get to work early and turn all the chairs and tables upside down before your students arrive. Place a sign on the board saying welcome to the upside down. As your students walk in, greet them as usual, as if nothing is wrong. If anyone asks why the chairs and tables are upside down, say everything looks normal!

4 – Luke, I am your teacher now

If you go to the playground to pick up your students after recess, this one is for you! Buddy up with another teacher and swap classes. Go to pick up your new class and take them to their room. Immediately start teaching them, carrying on from their usual teachers’ lesson. Act as if nothing has happened and this is your normal class, and see how long it takes for students to speak up

5 – Fake school mascot

This one is fun for the whole school. Get the faculty together a week or two before April Fool’s Day and design a new school mascot. It should be the most outlandish mascot you can imagine, with wacky clothes and weird features. On April 1st, launch the new mascot and get them to walk around school all day in their new costume. It’s sure to get more than a few giggles!

6 – Switch the desks around!

Want to confuse your students? Swap their desks around before school starts. They’ll be wandering around trying to find their new seat for ages! But to make this prank fun, swap the desks around again at recess so that your students are even more confused! Just make sure to get them to put their desks in the usual place at the end of the day (allow 15 minutes for this!).

7 – Don’t wake the teacher!

Where do teachers live? If you ask a younger child, the answer is probably at school. So let’s prove them right! If you have students that come straight to your room in the morning, this is the prank for you. A few minutes before students arrive at school, set up a pillow and blanket at the front of the class (on the rug if you have one). You will also need to be in your pajamas for this. Get cozy under the blanket and pretend to be asleep. As your students come in, notice how they react. They’ll either tiptoe in to not disturb you or try to wake you up for school. If they try to wake you up, turn around and “go back to sleep,” muttering something like “go sit at your desk.” When the school bell goes, jump up in surprise, notice your students, and say, “oh no! I overslept for school!” Then pack up and act like normal.

8 – Student for principal

This isn’t a new idea. Recess and Bob’s Burgers have explored what it would be like to have a student be the principal for the day. Choose a student and let them “rule the school” for the day. Just make sure to have a few ground rules before the day starts, or you could end up with recess all day, just like in the shows!

9 – Teacher = double trouble

A few years ago, a college professor went viral on YouTube for creating a video of him talking to himself in real life. It looked like he was talking to a duplicate of himself in real-time that lived on his computer. If you’re tech-savvy, this is a great prank to emulate!

10 – Sorry, kids, the whiteboard is “out of order”

If you have a chalkboard or whiteboard, this one is set to make a few people giggle. Before class, stick an “out of order” sign on the board. Then leave. When you come back, pretend not to notice. When you start your lesson, go to write something on the board, see the sign and then start panicking about how you will do the lesson if the board doesn’t work. Ask your students if they know how to fix it and see how long it takes them to realize that there’s nothing wrong…you can’t have an “out of order” board! This won’t work with an interactive whiteboard, as they can be out of order!

11 – Donut seeds, anyone?

This list has many brilliant pranks, but this has to be one of the funniest. Start by bringing in donuts for the class and handing them out. Once everyone has eaten their donut, produce a bag of cheerios. Tell the class, “hey everyone, I saved the seeds from the donuts! Who wants to take some home and plant a donut tree in their house?” Then, hand out a few cheerios to each of your students (in bags if you have enough) and explain how they should plant and care for them. This video will give you a few ideas on donut seed planting instructions. You’ll likely get a few confused emails from parents, but that makes it funnier, right?

12 – Was that the school bell?

A typical school bell goes off at least ten times a day. And it’s always the same sharp drill. Sure, it does the job, but it’s horrible to listen to! Why not change each school bell ring with a different song on April Fool’s Day? Make it as wacky as possible. Crazy Frog, Baby Shark, Le Papa Penguin… if it’s annoying yet catchy, use it! Here’s a list of songs to draw inspiration from.

13 – Snow day!

Who doesn’t love a good snow day? Put up signs around the school that say, ‘Today is a snow day!’ This will be especially funny if it’s a sunny day. Make sure to cover the school with paper snowflakes to “justify” the signs!

14 – Free “iPad”

Teachers’ salaries must increase if we’re ready to give out free iPads. Offer your students all a free iPad. They’ll all definitely say yes. Then…give them…EYE PADS! Yes, whether you choose the cotton eye pads found in the nurse’s room or a pirate’s eye patch, hand them out and say, “here you go, here’s your EYE PAD.” Nothing feeds a prankster’s soul more than the painful eye roll of a class that realizes they’ve been pranked… hehe!

15 – The awkward phone call

There are no cell phones in class… so you’ll have to break your own rules, just this once. Accidentally leave your phone on loud, and get a friend to call you at a specific time. Apologize to your students and tell them it’s an urgent call you must answer. Then proceed to have the weirdest conversation. The more unlikely, the better. For example, “hi Orlando, how are you? How is Katy doing? Wait, they’re shooting the movie in a school? (lower your voice as if trying to keep it from the students) They’re auditioning the students?!” You know your students better than anyone, so choose a subject they would be interested enough to pay attention to and get tricked by. Just keep it family-friendly, of course.

16 – Fake spider

This prank, originally recounted on a teacher’s blog, was too good not to add to this list. This teacher put a big fake spider in a lighting fixture in their room. They then took a styrofoam cup, added a few holes as if the spider had escaped, and taped it to the ceiling. They added a note saying, “DON’T LIFT – SPIDER TRAPPED INSIDE.” Their students then wondered where the spider had escaped until one noticed the spider in the lights, and freaking out ensued. Just make sure if you do this that you prove to the kids it was a fake spider, or they may be spooked for life!

17 – Fake safety drills

Safety drills are no joke. We have one for everything these days. To add April Fool’s levity to proceedings, try making up your drill and telling students there is a preplanned drill for the day. The most common choice is the Flood Drill. Get your students to do fun and weird steps in the preparation. For example, in flood drill pranks, teachers get their kids to take their shoes and socks off and tiptoe around the school. As this is a popular prank, you’re better off doing this with younger students who are less likely to have encountered it.

18 – Groundhog day: Lessons on repeat

Anything can happen on April Fool’s Day. Sometimes multiple times! Confuse your students after recess by doing the same lesson you gave them before and see how long it takes them to notice. Try and keep it going as long as possible! And if you’re feeling brave, do the same after lunch, too!

19 – Fake foot doctor

The final prank on this list is the fake foot doctor. Occasionally, visitors, including medical professionals, come to school to interact with the children. So it shouldn’t be too stretch to get your class to believe they’ll be visited by the foot doctor today, who will quickly inspect their feet. Inform your class that they need to have their feet prepared for when the doctor comes and that the school nurse has given you full instructions on what to do. Have fun getting children to prepare – you could make them wear their socks around their ankles, only one sock, and sit with their shoes on top of their feet…have fun with the rules. Then get them to sit with their feet prepared in a funny position until the doctor comes, and see how long they are patient enough to wait!

April Fool’s Day is for teachers, too

Don’t let the rest of the world steal all the fun… these April Fool’s Day pranks will make class fun! The only question is…which prank will you do this year?

Happy April Fool’s Day!