Not everyone likes the idea of being pranked on April Fool’s Day, but I recently came across a sweet idea I think the whole family would be willing to get on board with.
Did you know it’s widely believed that April Fool’s Day originated in France? This is because in the 16th century France celebrated the New Year on April 1st, but in 1582 Pope Gregory changed the calendar to the one we’re familiar with today, and from then on New Year’s Day was to be observed on January 1st. Some people didn’t know (or care) about the new calendar and they continued to celebrate the start of a new year on April 1st. These traditionalists were then referred to as ‘April Fools’ and were tricked into believing something false on that date each year. The practice began to spread across Europe and evolved into the day of trickery we’re familiar with today.
France still considers the first day of April as a one in which to have fun, only now it’s called ‘Poisson d’Avril,’ which means April Fish. Children play a game where they try to discreetly tape a paper fish to their friends’ backs without being discovered. When the fish is found the prankster yells ‘Poisson d’Avril.’ Totally adorable and harmless, right?
I think it would be great game to play on April first with the kids. In my experience kids love trying to prank their parents, so I think they should be encouraged to on April 1st. The night before, set them up with paper, crayons and scissors and get them to make a bunch of paper fish. The next day encourage them to try and sneakily place the fish on their parent’s back without the parent finding out. Explain that April Fool’s pranks need to be carried out before noon, so they only have the morning to plan their attack!
Does your family enjoy April Fool’s Day? Do you have any pranks planned for your kids this year?
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