Why Do We Celebrate April Fools' Day?

Plus a few tricks to play on or with your kids!

By Melissa Hucal March 27, 2024
It may not be a nationally recognized holiday, but both adults and kids get involved in the celebration of April Fools' Day.

So if it's not a "real" holiday, how did it start? No one really knows. No fooling.

There are many different theories on the origin of April Fools' Day, but one of the most popular involves the calendar.

The year was 1582, the same year that France began using the Gregorian Calendar. The change in calendar shifted the observance of New Year's Day from the end of March (around the time when Spring begins) to the first of January.

The story is that there were many people who either didn't know about the change - or perhaps didn't care - and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st. Those who knew of the calendar changes began to tease and trick those who celebrated, calling them "April Fools." This practice of pranks continued year after year and eventually spread throughout Europe.

Whether this story is completely true or not is still up for discussion. What we DO know, though, is that April 1st is a great time to inject a little fun!

Here are a few ideas for some harmless tricks that you can play on or with your kids.

Colored milk! Add a few drops of food coloring to a glass (or the whole gallon!) of milk. Imagine your child's surprise when you tell him/her about the blue or green cow that produced this drink!

Gummy worms and fish! What could be sillier than finding a "worm" in your apple or sandwich? Maybe some fish floating in your glass of juice (aka jello)?

Funny faces! After your kids go to sleep, attach paper eyes and other facial features to the household appliances. In the morning, the toaster, refrigerator and television will be smiling back at them!

Clothes that don't fit! Pull that box of 'too small' clothes out of the closet or donation pile and place them in your child's drawer. When they get dressed in the morning, they'll be amazed at how much they have grown overnight!

Happy Foolin'!