Funny Business

In honor of April Fool’s Day, put a little levity into your gift giving

Every year, the people in my family (namely my dad and daughter) try to put one over on me on April 1. If they catch me early enough in the morning, they may succeed, but I’m pretty keen on keeping up my guard throughout the day.

When it comes to playing a trick on them or someone else, I have three general rules: 1) Make the scenario believable, 2) try to present it as matter-of-factly as possible and 3) use the element of surprise so they don’t have time to think about it. Sometimes it works, sometimes they’re just waiting for it and I don’t have much success.

Props can also come in handy when trying to fool someone. My daughter’s current favorite is the old stick-of-gum standby—ask someone if they want a piece and their finger gets mousetrapped when they pull out the gum. (I’m glad to see the updated version has a pad on the snapper to protect little fingers.)


If you need a little practical help, check out these trick-themed gift ideas that will keep friends and family entertained any time of year.

What’s your favorite April Fool’s prank? Feel free to comment below.

This week’s picks

Office antics: Place this spilling coffee cup atop a co-worker’s important papers or keyboard and you’re sure to get a rise. Then, they can use it to pass on the prank to others. Various coffee cups and soda cans available. $9



Work for it: Don’t just hand over a gift card; make them work for it. They’ll have fun using their brains to crack the code of this puzzle box to unlock the gift card inside. Cards are available from $50 to $150 from retailers such as Home Depot, Nike and Best Buy. $79.99-$179.99



It’s tricky: Kids will have fun learning the 10 classic tricks and illusions packed into this wooden magic set by Melissa and Doug. They can practice on their own, then wow family and friends with their sleight of hand. $27.99


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