Get your joke book out and plan your pratfalls and pranks because April 1st, better known as April Fool’s Day, is the time once a year to celebrate by playing good-spirited tricks on friends and family. Funny enough, despite its worldwide popularity, this holiday has a long history but mysterious origins. One of the earliest possible explanations goes all the way back to 1508 when French Poet Eloy d’Amerval referred to a “poisson d’avril,” or “April Fool.” Although, translated, this actually means “April’s Fish”!
Another account relates this knee-slapping holiday to the European shift in the 1580’s from using the Julian calendar to the Gregorian one. For many people, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1st. After this changed to January 1st, people still celebrating New Year’s Eve in the springtime were teased for being an “April Fool.”
However this silly, hoax-filled holiday got its start, it’s a great excuse to act foolishly. Keep scrolling for videos, activities, and crafts to celebrate this April Fool’s Day! We hope they tickle your funny bone.
The Science of Funny
Why Being Funny is Good for Your Family
Joking around with your kids can benefit nearly every aspect of their development. Here are some tips to tickle your kid’s funny bone and crack them up at every age.
NOVA scienceNOW | Hippocampus Humor: Comic Science
Learn about the hippocampus, a part of the brain that stores memories, in this video from the Comic Science series of NOVA scienceNOW. And learn a nerdy hippocampus joke, too!
Why Are Some People So Easily Fooled? | BrainCraft
Are you easily fooled? In this episode of BrainCraft, we look at how people fall for April Fool’s pranks.
Activities, Crafts & More
Five Fun Food Ideas for April Fool’s Day
Check out these tasty illusions and foolish foods from around the web to get the whole family laughing!
Make a Silly Folded Picture
In this activity, your child can practice cooperation skills. They’ll need at least one other player — but the silly drawing is more fun with more people! Before you play, listen and sing together with Daniel Tiger’s song, “If you can’t do it alone, work together.”
Funny Books for Kids
There’s nothing like a good laugh! We aim to please with this selection of funny books for kids ages 0-9 that’ll have you laughing out loud. Whether it’s a giant pickle stuck in a roof or a writerly duck who tricks a farmer (again!), the unexpected situations and hilarious stories will bring you a smile.
Silly Sentences Home Activity | Martha Speaks
Cut up newspaper headlines and use the words to make your own silly sentences with this Martha Speaks activity for the whole family. Get ready for glue and giggles!
Laugh-o-Graph – The Electric Company | PBS KIDS Lab
Create a laugh graph to rate your child’s favorite jokes and figure out which one is the funniest. This activity from The Electric Company will help children master graphing, data collection, and analysis.