April Fools’ Day

Good morning. Well today is 1st April (April Fools Day), and it’s the traditional day of the year for playing pranks. So our challenge for you today is to create a hilarious prank!

Now there are FOUR golden rules for prank-playing, so please read these before you start getting any ideas.

  1. Make sure that your prank is SAFE. Far too many accidents result from pranks that may be intended for a bit of fun, but somehow go wrong.
  • Pranks should NEVER upset, humiliate or embarrass other people. If you think anybody may feel uncomfortable, offended or upset by your prank, then it’s not a good prank to play.
  • Pranks have to be believable. Somehow you have to be creative enough to come up with a prank that others might fall for.
  • Pranks should simply be ‘harmless fun.’ If you can make others really laugh through pulling a prank then you have truly succeeded. The greater the laughter, the greater the prank!

Please let me know about any hilarious pranks that you manage to pull off. It would be good fun to share a few on the website. So send a summary of your prank to me at head@skyswood.herts.sch.uk

Now let’s have a look at some famous pranks that have been pulled on previous April Fools Days (all of which have fooled thousands of people!).

Washing of The Lions

The earliest April Fools trick on record dates back to 1698 (322 years ago!). An advertisement encouraged hundreds of people to go to the Tower of London to witness the Annual Ceremony of The Washing of the Lions. It was all a big hoax!

Spaghetti Trees

On April 1st 1957, the BBC broadcast a Panorama programme that showed footage of people harvesting spaghetti from the spaghetti trees of Switzerland. They said it had been a great year for the spaghetti harvest due to the elimination of the major spaghetti pest, the spaghetti weevil. Lots of people fell for this. You can see great footage of this on You Tube and I would definitely recommend having a look  (although in those days there were only black and white televisions)

Rhinocerous for the Council!

In 1959, students in Sao Paulo, Brazil, were so unhappy with their city council that they announced a rhinocerous (named Cacareco) was standing for the city council. The rhinocerous did actually exist and was resident at the Sao Paulo Zoo. They somehow managed to get Cacareco’s name on the ballot papers and it won a landslide victory (with over 100,000 votes!) It’s nearest rival had around 10,000 votes. Unfortunately, the election board were able to disqualify the rhinocerous as it would be very difficult to transport a rhinocerous to your council meetings!

Colour Televisions

On April 1st 1962, the Swedish National TV Broadcasting Company announced, with the help of a top technical expert, that you could get colour TV if you viewed your programmes through nylon stockings. Many trusting Swedes fell for it!


On April 1st 1969, a music journalist, Greil Marcus, published a gushing review of a new album that had been released by the ‘secret supergroup’, The Masked Marauders.’ This group was said to include Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. People went rushing to the shops to buy their copy of this amazing new release!

Big Ben goes Digital

On April 1st 1970, the BBC Overseas Service announced that Big Ben was going digital. So many people were upset that this famous London symbol was going to be modernised that the BBC were forced to issue an apology.

Left Handed Burgers and Loo Rolls

On 1st April 1998, Burger King published a full page advertisement in a national newspaper announcing that they would be introducing a ‘left-handed’ Whopper to cater for America’s 32 million left handed citizens. Similarly, in 2015, the Cottonelle Company tweeted that they were introducing left handed toilet paper (Can we request that any left-handers please don’t rush out and go panic buying!)

If you do have a spare moment today, take a look at the spaghetti prank on You Tube, it’s well worth it!

Good luck with your own April Fools pranks. Please make them fun and don’t do anything that upsets anybody, or isn’t safe!

Spaghetti trees in Switzerland
How to invent a ‘Whopper!’