April Fool’s Day is an awesome holiday because pranks are so fun. The problem is people think they hate surprises and pranks because some people make sure pranks are at someone else’s expense. I have a feeling the world would get a bit more on board with them if they knew that the surprise was going to be something positive!
With the word “prank” we could be talking about a lot of things, anything from jumping out from behind a bush in a monster costume to scare someone or slowly adding weight to something and then one day taking it all out so they hit themselves in the head or fall down. But what if instead of trying to make someone terrified or feel silly, we made them smile?
So what is a kindness prank?
A kindness prank is a surprise you plan for someone. It comes as a shock to them the same way an ordinary prank would, but the results is nothing but positivity and smiles.
Know your audience
If you’re going to pull of a kindness prank, you need to be aware of any phobias, allergies, or potential negative consequences of your actions. In general, just think about what the recipient of the prank enjoys. You are essentially giving a gift, and the best kind of gifts reflect what you best love about the recipient.
A good example is confetti. My friend really dislikes confetti. She doesn’t want me to open up mail at her house anymore in case it spills everywhere, so obviously a prank I pull on her would not involve confetti. But if you were pranking me? Uh, confetti is completely fair game. One of the best gifts I’ve received to this day was when my coworker covered the inside of my car (and air vents) with glitter. It was there for years. How many people do you know who would have enjoyed that? Know your audience.
Figure out when your recipient isn’t going to be home so you can work in secret and without interruption. Figure out when they might most need a kindness prank. Maybe coming home from a regular work day to a kindness prank would be more fun than coming home from a vacation? Or not. Again, know your audience.
Bring your supplies with you, as well as back up plans and tools. I always have basic tools on me like scissors, tape, yarn, etc. Just generally think ahead. Are you going to need more people with you? How are their schedules looking? What about daylight, temperature, and precipitation? Play devil’s advocate to ensure a smooth installation.
Ideas For April’s Fool Day Pranks
- Cover a car in sticky notes
- Make a sticky note formation on someone’s house
- Cover an apartment in sticky notes (either in plain sight or hidden) with words and drawings
- Cover a lawn in anything that can be attached to sticks, like kabob spears (paper flowers, balloons)
- Fill a room, office, or cubicle with balloons
- Fill a threshold with candy
- Change someone’s mouse cursor and desktop photo to something silly
- Add googly eyes to everything in a refrigerator
- Get a group to send one person mail
- Get a group of people to simultaneously text nice things to one person
- Cover a cubicle in Nicholas Cage or cat pictures
- Wrap items in a house or an office like they’re presents
- Make a living room in the backyard out of snow
- Cover everything in Bubble Wrap
- Dress up like a cheerleader and show up to an event to cheer on your friend
- Fill a car with inflatables
- Write nice things with window markers on windshields and screen doors
- Sprinkle confetti all over a sidewalk
- Go about your day wearing a unicorn/horse head or a giant mascot costume
- Cover a bed in rose petals
- Put a helium-filled balloon inside the toilet
- Put a helium-filled balloon inside a box and leave it on someone’s doorstep
- Fill a room with bouquets of flowers
- Tape lollipops all around the walls with a sign that says “Happy April Fools, Suckers!”
- Make your voicemail an elaborate Sterling Archer-level joke
- Plan an elaborate scavenger hunt
- Hire someone they admire to surprise them at a dinner
- Do some strange performance art like Liquid Pranks where you drink blue Gatorade out of a Windex bottle
- Ask a store employee where you can find a fake item that doesn’t exist
- Put a sign on the back of your car that says “Honk, wave, and yell ‘Hi _____! [insert passenger’s name here]” without your passenger seeing the sign
- Walk around Target in a red shirt and khakis (or another store with an easy uniform) and do things like clean up shelves, fold clothes, etc. When someone asks you for help stare at them and say “I don’t work here” and continue to clean the shelves.
- Put color dye pellets under someone’s sink/faucet
- When someone leaves their phone unattended, download a bunch of silly photos onto it
- Plant flowers spelling out someone’s name or a nice word
- Find out what time your roommate’s alarm is set for and sneak in their room to play a live version of their alarm song to wake them up (or get a string or barber shop quartet)
- Dress in a mascot costume and deliver a telegram to someone at their door, with just nice cards
- Cover someone in temporary tattoos while they’re sleeping
- Log into your friend’s Facebook and change their birthday to April 1st
Really, as long as your pranks are kind in nature, you can’t go wrong. Have fun with it, take pictures, and let me know how it goes.
Share your ideas and stories about kindness pranks in the comments!