With April Fool’s Day right around the corner, now is the ideal time to start plotting your pranks. A good prank can bring your team together and provide fun memories that will be talked about all year. I have fond memories of being pranked by my Aquatic Supervisor and Head Guards as a rookie lifeguard. As I moved up through leadership ranks in my aquatic career, I took delight in planning pranks with my coordinators and supervisors for our team.
This holiday, however, should come with a warning, May Cause Rampant Pranking if not Contained. April Fool’s Day can cause an un-intentional snowball effect with retaliatory pranks becoming commonplace around your facility, so consider if you are okay with this prior to pranking your team. If you embrace pranking at your facility, make sure to set some ground rules and limitations. Some restrictions to consider might include: pranks are limited to April Fool’s Day, pranks are limited to team members only, pranks may not be conducted in public spaces (in front of guests), pranks must not inflict harm or be a safety violation, etc. You get the idea… consider your team, your facility, and your upper management before embarking on this endless journey.
The Elements of a Good Prank are:
- Know your audience
- Consider who will be on the receiving end of your prank
- Make sure they will be open to your prank
- Know your limits
- Know what is off-limits
- If you think it’s too much or too far, it is.
- Consider your restrictions
- Be creative
- Be creative in your prank
- This doesn’t mean you can’t pull a common prank, but consider your target’s routine, the habits, and wants/needs throughout the day
- Be Nice
- Malicious pranks never go over well and can have some severe repercussions
- Put yourself in the receiver’s position. Would you be okay if someone pulled this prank on you?
- Don’t make it too personal; keep your pranks light-hearted and fun!
P.S. Personally, I would stay away with messing with disguised food items (chocolate-covered Brussel sprouts disguised as cake pops, caramel-covered onions disguised as caramel-covered apples, etc...) I would be scarred for life and never trust another donut if I bit into my favorite chocolate-covered donut to find out that it had been filled with mayonnaise or mustard. (Not to mention the fact that someone would be cleaning up vomit!)
We know you came here for the ideas, so without further ado – here are some fun and creative ways to prank your aquatic team this April Fools Day!
A classic, but a good one – fill a room full of loose balloons. We highly recommend an electric balloon pump to make the task easier. If you aren’t down for filling the entire room and your door has a window, cluster a collection of balloons and attach them to the window(s) to make it look like the room is filled with balloons.
You’ve certainly seen this prank make its rounds online. Surprise your team with some thoughtful treats! For an even better surprise, bring out the donuts after a few hours and reward them with some healthy snacks, followed by delicious donuts. Happy April Fool's Day!
All the Noise
Place bubble wrap under any floor mat or rug for a surprise when your team members step down. This one’s particularly effective first thing in the morning, nothing like loud, unexpected noise to wake someone up really quick!
Rubber Band Barriers
Take some time to wrap some of the essential objects around the office or breakroom - like the remote control to the tv, your chem check kit, lane wrenches, any item your team uses daily!
Your team will be so excited when they hear you made them brownies! Imagine their surprise when they lift the tinfoil, only to find a pan full of brown E’s. Lift their spirits and bring out some actual brownies to enjoy. April Fools!
Toot Your Own Horn
Want to see someone jump? Attach an air horn to any seat post that compresses when you sit down. This one will take a little practice to get it right – so make sure you test it out after hours.
Same concept, new location
Affix an airhorn to the wall protector behind the door. You won’t have to remind your team not to slam the door anymore!
All you need for this prank is a few strategically placed fake bugs – or you can even cut them out of paper. Stick them to the inside of a lamp and when your target turns it on, watch out! Our favorite is fake cockroaches left on the floor, ideally underneath towels, next to shoes, backpacks, or hidden near other items left on the floor.
Want to confuse your team with a sweet treat? Mix a bag of M&M’s, Skittles, and Reese Pieces in one large bowl. Your unsuspecting team will grab a handful and toss them in their mouth, and be surprised by the flavorful explosion of chocolate, fruitiness, and peanut butter *yum*.
Note: If you have any team members who have a peanut allergy (or are unsure), leave out the Reese pieces and opt for M&Ms and Skittles only.
We’re Watching You
Glue a pair of googly eyes on every single item in the fridge, break-room, supply cabinet (the options are endless!) This prank is especially effective if you use it on items behind closed doors. It’s unsettling to open a cabinet and have everything staring at you.
Swap out any photos in your breakroom or employee gallery wall. Replace familiar faces with pictures of celebrities, politicians, or historical figures.
Chewbacca Roar Contest
Post flyers for a “local” event with a cash prize! Encourage your team to participate and challenge them to top your entry. Check out our Canva Chewbacca Template to customize your own! Make it look more authentic by adding local radio station or business logos and branding. Make sure it’s not a number that your team member calls frequently or would recognize.
Award a winner (with the prize of your choice) during an In-Service Training or Team Meeting. You can choose the winner yourself or play all the voicemails and let your team vote on the best roar. (Save the voicemails and clip when the contact information is relayed, so it’s a blind contest and not a popularity contest).
This prank takes the “control” out of the remote control. Use a small sticker or tape to cover the sensor on your remote. No matter how hard they try, they won’t be able to switch TV channels, even with new batteries.
Similar to the cockroach prank, fake snakes in the pump room, chemical rooms, on hose reels, or at outdoor facilities are sure to give your team a scare. Opt for realistic-looking snakes like this one or this one!
Similar to the uncontrollable remote, you can really mess with your team by creating a crazy mouse! Grab a post-it note and leave a fun, little message on the bottom to let your team know the jokes on them!
We can’t wait to see the pranks you pull on your team! Follow us on Instagram and tag us at #HydroApps!
Looking to build a stronger culture with your team? Check out our blog on Team Recognition and Appreciation Ideas!