Pop quiz: What’s the name of the silly and mischievous holiday that’s celebrated each year on April 1st? If you guessed April Fool’s Day, give yourself a round of applause because you nailed it. Great job!
I can still remember how fun April Fool’s Day was back when I was a child.
That day was the best. My elementary school teachers would always pull hilarious pranks on us students. These pranks were not malicious at all, far from it. They were tasteful and had the ability to make each and every youngster in the class laugh out loud. Ah, thinking about those wonderful April Fool’s Day memories seriously causes me to smile ear to ear.
Fast forward a few years . . .
Now I have the ability to keep that wonderful April Fool’s Day tradition going as a school-based speech-language pathologist. That’s exactly why I’ve collected 3 of my most favorite favorite April Fool’s Day pranks that any SLP can play on his or her speech therapy students in order to generate a barrel of laughs and a boat load of conversation.
1. “Did you bring in your signed permission slip?”
Once your students sit down in their seats, ask them if they have their signed permission slips. After they look at you with confused eyes, go on to say, “I can’t believe that you all forgot about today’s field trip to the zoo! Well, since no one remembered to bring back their signed permission slips, the trip is now canceled.” Keep this going for a few moments, and don’t forget to add in some WH questions such as:
- How could we get to the zoo?
- What animal could we see at the zoo?
- What else, besides animals, could we see at the zoo?
Then, announce nice and loud, “April Fools!” Chances are, it won’t be their first exposure to an April Fool’s prank, so take the opportunity to discuss some other fun places that could’ve been said instead of the zoo. Tell the students that you will use their suggestions for when you prank the next group of students that you see later in the day for speech (children love helping out like that!).
2. “Trick or treat?”
Once your students sit down in their seats, ask them to close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, put on a quick Halloween costume (I usually just throw on a pirate eye patch). Then, tell them to open their eyes. Once they do, shout, “trick or treat!” Go on to ask them where their costumes are and why they didn’t wear a costume to school today. All of those questions should force them to communicate that Halloween is October 31 and since it’s April 1, there’s no need for a costume, etc. But make sure you go on and on about, “Oh, you didn’t hear about the new law? Yea, Halloween got moved to April 1st from now on.” After a few minutes of conversation about the “new law” – give them a loud and proud, “April Fools!”
3. “Hi! I am your substitute today!”
Once your students sit down in their seats, proceed to tell them that you’re not who they think you are. Tell them that you’re actually the twin brother (or twin sister) of their regular SLP. Make up a brand new name, maybe change around your voice, or maybe even put on a fake mustache. Ask them WH questions about their “absent SLP”such as:
- What is your favorite thing about about your regular SLP?
- Why do you think your SLP is absent today?
- When do you think your SLP will be back in school?
After all the questions have been answered, give a hearty, “April Fools!”
In closing . . .
So what do ya think? Will these pranks could cause your students to smile on April 1st? Do you think they will crown you the ultimate prankster? Give these April Fool’s Day tricks a try in your speech therapy room on April 1st and let me know how it goes.