Fool Your Family With These Family Friendly Pranks

Our top 5 April fools tricks and treAts

april fools blog

When my kids were little, it became tradition at my house to have “funny” food for one of our April Fools Day meals.  For many years I made “Flannel” pancakes.  I don’t know why but I fooled my family for probably 5 years in a row with my flannel pancakes. 

Now that my kids are grown  with kids of their own we continue the tradition but have added additional pranks- my favorite being my delicious Aprils Fools Brownies.  Actually  they are BROWN- E’s.

Brown- E’s

To make my delicious Brown-E’s  I put a bunch of brown capitol E’s in my  special brownie pan and cover it with foil. At the end of  dinner I ask everyone if they still  have room for a brown-E.  This prank has been going on for about 3 years and I’m afraid this year the older grandkids will remember this trick.DSCN4341

For Sale Sign

Another fun way I’ve fooled my grandkids, which all live with a 1/2 mile of my house, is to put a “For Sale” in my front yard. They didn’t that was very funny and fortunately, neither did our good neighbors.


Frozen Breakfast

Put cereal and milk in a bowl and let it freeze overnight. You can freeze it with the spoon in it or not. The next morning right before breakfast, take the bowl out of the freezer and pour a little bit of fresh milk on top.When your hungry kids try to dig in, they’ll find that their cereal won’t budge.

Image result for cereal png

Flannel Pancakes

When cooking pancakes put a piece of white flannel, about 3”x3”, into each pancake and cook as usual. Flannel makes pancakes impossible to cut and eaters will become quite frustrated until they realize they’ve been fooled. This is an easy trick to do when serving many people. Put one flannel pancake on a plate with two or three other pancakes.

Non-drinkable Juice

What you’ll need:
Clear drinking glasses, Jell-o, Straws

The night before make some jell-o in clear juice glasses.  Use a flavor that matches the juice they drink – such as grape, orange etc. Fill the glass about ¾ full and after it starts to set, insert a drinking straw. Once it is set, it will look like a normal glass of juice with a straw in it. Simply set it at their place at the breakfast table.  Provide spoons so they can eat the gelatin when they realize they can’t drink it.

And here’s one more fun idea.  Take a few quarters and Gorilla glue them on the sidewalk or walkway leading up to your house.  When the grandkids, or your guests, try to pick them up they’re stuck. Warning- the glue will leave a dark spot on your concrete when you pry it off.

St Patrick’s Day Party Games

Game Ideas for Your Irish Party

st patricks day blog

Whether celebrating St Patrick’s Day or considering your Irish roots at your next family reunion here are a couple of fun Irish game ideas.


Musical Shamrock Game

Make very large green shamrock shapes about  2 feet square.  They don’t need to be fancy just simple shamrock shapes.  The ideas is similar to “musical chairs” game- you want to have fewer shamrocks than players. Scatter shamrocks over the playing area.  Explain that as the music plays all the players must keep moving but must stay off the shamrocks.   When the music stops players run to a shamrock.  However, each shamrock must have three players on it. Those with only one or two as well as those that have nowhere to stand are eliminated.  Remove a shamrock or two after each round.  (You always want to have fewer shamrocks than players)  Winners of the game  are those who have not been eliminated when only one shamrock remains.  Give out green lollypops, cupcakes or stickers for prizes.


Irish Scavenger Hunt

Divide into teams, giving each team an identical list of green items.  Tell each team that they must stay together when searching for their green items.

Some ideas to search for:

  • Something that grows green
  • Something you are wearing that is green
  • Green crayon, green colored pencil, green marker
  • Find a plastic item that is green
  • Find something soft that is green
  • Something hard that is green
  • Find something you can build with that is green
  • Green snack
  • 3 leaf clover
  • Fruit that is green
  • Vegetable that is green
  • Pop Can

Irish “Road Bowling” Game

Croquet is supposed to have come from a game called Crookey in Northern Ireland but another fun “real” Irish game is “Road Bowling”.
Road bowling is an unusual version of bowling that is particular to Ireland. It is played with a steal shot, (or use your own idea for a ball of some sort) which is tossed under arm by the player down a twisty road. The player who gets to the finish line with the least amount of throws wins.


Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover? You
don’t want to press your luck.

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

Candy Bar Game

How well do you know your chocolate bars?

How well do you know your chocolate candy bar game

Whether you are in  charge of planning a  party for family, friends,  co-workers or you church, here’s a fun printable with a twist.   Instead of identifying candy bars by their name or wrapper you try and recognize your favorite bars by how they look on the inside. You can download a printable copy of the game below.

Answer Key

  1. Snickers
  2. Butterfinger
  3. Baby Ruth
  4. Milky Way
  5. PayDay
  6. Whatchamacallit
  7. 3 Musketeers
  8. 5th Avenue
  9. Almond Joy
  10. 100 Grand

Image result for candy bar png

Although the candy bar game printable is lots of fun you can take your party to a whole new level by letting you guest actually EAT the candy bars. 
Divide the group into teams. In advance,  cut several well known  candy  bars into bite sized pieces. The object of this candy bar game is for the blindfolded person to guess the name of the candy bar by taste alone. No peeking and no hints allowed!  Each player only gets one guess so give them a little time to come up with the correct answer.  If the blindfolded player guesses the candy bar correctly, their team gets a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. And what do you give as  prizes- why candy bars!

New Years Man- A Family Tradition

You’ve probably never heard of the  New Years Man but it’s a family tradition that has  been part of our family for generations.New Years Man

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, it’s customary in Spain to quickly eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock. Each grape supposedly signifies good luck for one month of the coming year.  People around the world celebrate the  coming of the new year in many different ways but our families’ New Years tradition is one you’ve probably never heard of.

Every New Years Eve, if we have cleaned our rooms and put away our Christmas gifts, the “New Years Man” will  stop at our house and leave one last holiday gift.   I have no idea how the New Years Man tradition in  my family but it’s a tradition that goes back many generations. 

My Mom  remembers- “On  New Years Eve,  at bedtime we would make a “nest” out of our clothes.  While we were sleeping the New Years man would come and put goodies in our nest—It was always something to eat, candy, fruit etc.  Not toys.  Never a lot but we could tell he had been there “checking ” up on us. We  thought it was fun!” 

The tradition continued when  I was a child.  My parents used the New Years Man as a bribe to motivate us to clean up and put our Christmas things away. 

The New Years Man tradition has evolved to him bringing a small toy, treat or book etc. on New Years Eve for every girl  or boy that has put away their Christmas presents and cleaned their room so that it is spotless.  On New Years Eve we write our names on  a paper plate and if our rooms are clean the New Years Man will leave us a special prize.


I don’t know what the  New Years Man looks like and I don’t know where he comes from but  I  do know that as a child I was extremely motivated to get my room cleaned and my Christmas gifts put away so that the  New Years man would leave me one more gift for the season.  I’m  sure that having the  house  clean  and orderly for the first day of the new year was well the effort  for my parents.

Cute Christmas Treats for Your Family Party

Perfect Treats for Your Family Christmas Party

Simple to make and delicious to eat!

christmas blog 2017

These cute reindeer and snowman  stole the show at our family Christmas party last year.  They are simple to make and delicious to eat. You can make them  yourself or use these goodies as an ice breaker activity when your family first arrives at the party.

The Snowmen are easy to make using Hostess Sno balls.  Just keep your eyes open for them because they seem to only be available at certain  times of the year. (1)

Use a little white frosting to glue an orange candy like an M&M or Skittle or Sixlet to the Sno Ball. You can also just do a dab of orange frosting. Use black frosting gel in a tube to make the eyes. Cut a paper straw in half and press it inside of the Sno Ball.

Hostess Sno Balls -6ct Box



Making the reindeer are a little more complicated though once I figured out the process,even my little grandchildren were able to make their own reindeer.


Purchase a package of Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls.

First you will need  to cut two small slits on each side of the Swiss Roll and gently place one pretzel on each side. 


Put a dab of white frosting where you want the eyes to go and  carefully press the point side of two white chocolate chips into the Swiss Rolls to make the eyes. Use black gel to make the dots for the eyes.

Put a dab of white frosting to glue a red M&M nose below the eyes. Cut a paper straw in half and press it inside of the Swiss Roll.

20170804_172311 (1)

HINT: Be very careful when placing the antlers and the eyes.  If you push to hard your reindeer may look  like this…


Thanksgiving Jeopardy

Looking for a fun game to play  with your family between Thanksgiving dinner and the Pumpkin  Pie?

thanksgiving jeopardy title

Our family tested our knowledge of Thanksgiving traditions and history at our family dinner last Thanksgiving. I came up with the questions and printed them  off on half sheet papers.  We followed basic TV Jeopardy rules and adapted as necessary for our situation.An example of answers and questions  for the “First Thanksgiving” topic are as follows:

First Thanksgiving Answer Key
100: When was the first thanksgiving? 1621
200: The president who made Thanksgiving a national holiday? Abraham Lincoln
300: How long did Thanksgiving last? 3 Days
400: How many people where at the first thanksgiving? 140
500: What Indian Tribe? Wampanoag


You can download a pdf file of the Jeopardy game we used by clicking on the link  below.  It’s ready to print with 1/2 sheet question cards and a list of answers.  Heading cards are on a half sheet and feature the graphics shown in the photo above.  Take a quick look at the questions before printing and make sure they are still applicable.  Happy Thanksgiving!

FREE Thanksgiving Jeopardy printable

Family Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

Start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year with a family 5K.

turkey shirt front

I ran  into an  awesome young man at our local 5K fun run in July.  It was his Turkey Trot  shirt that caught my eye and I had a fun time talking to him about this fun family tradition.

Every Thanksgiving, this family hosts a 5K race for all visiting family members and friends. All that want to  participate, bring their running or walking shoes and burn off all those weighty Thanksgiving dinner calories before the turkey even comes  out of the oven.

turkey t shirt side

What a fun idea to have t-shirts made for the big race- a fun memento of a fun day.  I love any activity that gets family members up off their seats and moving and a family turkey trot certainly does that whether you trot or waddle across the finish line.

Halloween Ghost Cake With Flaming Eyes

Ghost Cake With Flaming Eyes

Posted on October 18, 2015

ghost cake

When I was a young mother I attended a workshop that included some fun holiday cooking ideas.  The most memorable idea I came away from the workshop with was this ghost cake with flaming eyes.

The best thing about this ghost cake is that you get maximum effect for minimum effort, so, if you are a busy mom or grandma, you can whip this cake up very quickly but the “wow” factor is huge!

To make the eyes flaming you place a lemon extract-doused sugar cube inside of a clean eggshell for each eye and then you light the cubes on fire. When presenting the cake turn out the lights before bringing in the cake.


Ghost Cake Recipe


1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, mix according to package directions
1 (7.2-ounce) package fluffy white frosting mix or make your own 7 minute frosting. (No Cook 7 Minute Frosting Recipe)
2 sugar cubes & 1 teaspoon lemon extract
Licorice string, chocolate chips, m & m’s- whatever you want to make a mouth


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

Prepare the cake mix as directed on package. (When you break the eggs, crack each in the middle and pour out the egg. Then save the 2 best shell halves. Wash these halves and turn upside down to dry.) After mixing, pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When cooled, you can remove the cake from  the pan and put on a sturdy piece of cardboard or a tray so that you can trim your cake to look more ghost- like.  I just left my cake in the baking pan and felt like it looked ghost- like enough without the extra work to decorate it.

Frost the cake. Place the 2 egg shell halves round sides down on cake for eyes. Place 1 sugar cube in each shell half. Make a mouth of licorice string.

Just before serving, pour 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract over each sugar cube. Light the eyes and amaze family and friends!

Lemon Jell-O to Feed a Crowd

A Favorite Family Reunion “Side”

lemon  jello blog_edited-1

I  love this salad, it’s inexpensive to make, quick to put together (it takes awhile to set  though) and everyone loves it.  I’m not really sure that you should call it a salad, there’s  no  fruit in it,  let’s just call it a “side”.   The fun thing about this side dish  is that it  separates and looks like you’ve spent a lot of time working on layers.  In  reality, it just makes the layers  all  by itself.

20170829_162326 (2)

Lemon Jell-O for a Crowd

3 (3 oz.) pkg. lemon Jell-O
4 c. boiling water
1 (12 oz.) can frozen lemonade consentrate
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip- for the top layer

Mix Jell-O and water until Jell-O is dissolved.  Add lemonade and stir. Refrigerate until syrupy.


Fold in the whipped topping to the Jell-O and pour into a clear glass  dish (I used a 10 x 15 Pyrex glass dish) and refrigerate until  firm.


In  the above photo you can see the layers  beginning  to form even as I’m folding in the whipped topping.

20170829_162309 (2)

Spread a top layer for whipped topping over the Jell-O when set. 

You  change this recipe up to make it a fun side dish for using orange Jell-O with a can of orange juice and serving at your  Halloween or Autumn gathering.

I’m not a great food photographer, I’m more of a, “I’ve got 80 people to feed how do I do that easily, inexpensively and deliciously” type of person.  This lemon “side” is the answer for our family reunions and parties.

Family Friendly Halloween Party Ideas

halloween unusual blog

Unusual Halloween Party Ideas

At we love reunions AND we love parties! Of course,  we specialize in wonderful family reunions but many of those reunion ideas translate perfectly into awesome parties.  Check out some of our favorite Halloween party ideas- nothing super scary but family friendly activities that will make your  guests SQUIRM!

Halloween Party Ideas to Make Your Guests “Squirm”

When I think of things that make me squirm I think of bats, worms, snakes and spiders- all typical Halloween creatures.  Oh, and what about eyeballs- sure to bring on a squirm!


It’s a Halloween Party!
Today’s the day we’re going to make you SQUIRM!

Date: ___________

Time: ___________

Place: ___________

Snakes, witches, and bats galore – Let’s see what this Halloween has in store.  Bring your family for a night of Squirms!

Halloween Decorations-

A few old brooms decorated with bows and lights makes for a fun entrance to your party.  Wrap plastic snakes around the broom handle and spiders in the bristles.


Silhouettes make decorating easy. You can purchase spooky silhouettes or easily make your own using black paper such as teachers use for bulletin boards. Put silhouettes in windows for a fun Halloween decoration- you want your guests to start Confused smile“squirming” with fright before they even get to the door.

Don’t want to make your own silhouette- the cat pictured is actually a Martha Stewart Halloween Witch Silhouette Window Cling. This image clings to glass or mirrors and can be reused year after year.



Squirmy Vampire Soap


You will need a small jar, laxative tablets (over the counter product at pharmacy), rubbing alcohol, soap and water.

In the jar, crush one or two laxative tablets and add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol.  Rub some of the mixture on your hand and allow to dry.  Then wash it off with soap.  The soapy water will turn bright red! 

NOTE:  Do not eat or drink this solution.

What happened? The laxative contains a substance called phenolphthalein, which turns bright red when mixed with an alkali base like soup.


Squirmy Peanut Butter Eyeballs


2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
½ – 1 pound white chocolate candy coating
Small bag of M & M’s or Skittles
Tube of red decorator frosting


1. Blend peanut butter and butter until creamy. Add sugar. Continue beating until it comes together and is about as thick as thick cookie dough. When well blended shape into 1 inch balls and put in the fridge on waxed paper to chill until firm. (30 minutes)

2. Melt the white candy coating in the microwave. Microwave in 60 second intervals stirring at the end of every minute until candy is smooth and creamy. Dip peanut butter balls in the candy coating and place back on your waxed paper. Immediately press a candy on top to make an iris. Place back into the fridge until set.

3. Using the tube of red decorator frosting make red squiggly blood vessels.

HINT: Since taking these photos we have found that to clean your eyes up a bit, use a paring knife to cut the excess candy coating from the eyeball- it will give your eyeball a cleaner look.


HALLOWEEN GAMES to make you Squirm

Worms in a Pie


You will need gummy worms, whipped cream and aluminum pie plates. Place gummy worms in the bottom  of the pie plate and then cover with whipped cream.  On the word “go” players try and eat as many gummy worms as they can find in the cream.  You can award prizes for the most worms found or most worms found in a time limit.  For extra fun, blindfold the contestants.

Bouncing Eyeballs


Take a ping pong ball and decorate with markers to look like blood shot eyes. Then get plastic pumpkin or party cups. Now give each child an eyeball and place the plastic pumpkin or cup at the bottom of stairs or across the floor. Have each player toss or bounce the eyeball down the stairs or across the room. The goal is to see if their eyeball bounces into the pumpkin. You can give a prize to those that get it in the pumpkin. Also for young kids, you may want to place paper cups together and have each cup worth a prize.

Speaking of “eyeballs”…


The Legend of White Eyes

I didn’t write it nor do I know where it came from- maybe it really is a true story and came from the pages of my history book. I’ve heard a lot of scary stories when I’ve been camping but this is the only story that made me scream- I hope you scream too.

Advance preparation- besides practicing the telling of this tale you will need to take a ping-pong ball and cut it in half. Color a small dark dot on each half with a permanent marker. These will be your “white eyes”. Keep them concealed in a closed hand. When the time is right, pop them on over each eye. (You may customize place names in your story to suit the occasion) NOTE: I would wait to tell this story until the little ones in your family had been tucked into bed.


There on that side of the lake (point) is where this story took place. As you all may know, the area around here was a busy place 100 years ago due to the Gold rush. Miners turned this whole region upside down in a quest for GOLD!

Greed can be a dangerous thing, especially where Gold is involved. To find more gold meant faster production, and digging deeper underground. It also meant sacrificing safety, but they didn’t care because there were a lot of foolish men around looking to make their fortune.

One day an underground mine collapsed with 16 men still waiting to come up from a full day’s work. Hour after hour went by as they awaited their rescue. The conditions were terrible. It was pitch-black dark, and very hot, dry and dusty down deep in that shaft. The men collected droplets of water that seeped down the tunnel walls in an attempt to satisfy their dying thirst. Days went by and still no rescue. To stave off hunger, they ate rats, mushrooms, and eventually… their dead co-workers.

(Throw a log on the fire for dramatic effect! Poke away at the embers.)

Despite their hopelessness, they scraped away at the rock and debris to try and dig their way out, confident that others would be digging from the surface as part of the rescue attempt. They dug and they dug, day after day, frantically hoping to see daylight from the surface. The days stretched into weeks, and then from there, the few men left alive lost track of time, and started losing their minds.

An eternity later, the survivors finally broke through, and made two very surprising discoveries. One: there was no search party. The mining company had abandoned the mine, and simply walked away. And two… all that time underground had affected their eyes… Their eyeballs were all white, except for an itty bitty black pupil. And they could no longer tolerate sunlight. 

Being left for dead was bad enough. Turning into some sort of White-eyed freak was too much. They snapped. In their rage they made a pact to hunt down every man who abandoned them in that old mine. And soon after, mysterious instances of men being killed in the mountains around here started.

The locals at first thought it was a bear or a cougar doing all the killing. The victims were usually found mauled, bloody and torn. But; closer examination showed the teeth marks on the bodies… were from human teeth!!

(Throw log on the fire!)

One by one, those white-eyed freaks killed off every miner, and any other man they could find in this area. And to this day, you won’t find any mining around these parts. Keep in mind this all happened 100 years ago. You’re probably wondering what happened to those white-eyes?? They should all be gone now due to old age, or at least that’s what they thought… until a few weeks ago. I heard on the radio, they found a hiker mauled on that trail on the backside of the lake. And on that dead man’s neck… human teeth marks!!!

Heed my words, kids: As long as you’re close to the fire, the light will scare ‘em away, but if you need to go into the dark… (pop in the ping-pong ball props)




Road Kill Stew
(Tune: “Three Blind Mice”)


Road kill stew, road kill stew.
Tastes so good, just like it should.
First you go down to the interstate.
You wait for the critter to meet it’s fate.
You take it home and you make it great.
Road kill stew, road kill stew.

Squirmiest Song Ever


Nobody likes me; everybody hates me;
Guess I’ll go eat worms.
Chorus: Long, thin, slimy ones; short fat juicy ones;itsy, bitsy, fuzzy, wuzzy worms.

First you get a bucket; then you get a shovel;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.

Next, you pull their heads off, then you suck their guts out;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.

Down goes the first one, down goes the second one;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.

Up comes the first one; up comes the second one;
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.

Everybody likes me; nobody hates me!
Why did I eat all those worms?

Chop up their heads, and squeeze out their juice,
And throw their tails away.
Nobody know how I can survive
On worms three times a day!

(Tune: “Auld Lang Syne”)


Should old worn sneakers be thrown out;
Or stink upon a shelf?
Should holey, moldy, gym socks walk
To the washer by themselves?
My smelly shoes, so torn and rank;
How comfortable to me!
My gym socks match them perfectly;
Let’s my piggies wiggle free!

Halloween Party Jokes


Q: What do you call a ghost in a torn sheet?
A: A holy terror

Q. What do you call a witch who lives at the beach?
A. A sand-witch.

Q. What do you call a witch’s garage?
A. A broom closet.

Q. What is a Skeleton’s favorite song.
A. Bad to the Bone.
Q. Why can’t a Skeleton Lift Weights?
A. He’s all bone and no muscle.

Q. What is a Mummie’s favorite type of music?
A. Wrap music!

Q. Why don’t mummies take vacations?
A. They’re afraid they’ll relax and unwind.

Slime Recipe


I was going through some old family reunion papers and found this fun recipe for Ooey Gooey Gax- some people call it “slime”.  Kids love Gax/slime and it’s a perfect party craft especially if you’re outside.


2 Tablespoons white glue
2 Tablespoons water
3-4 drops food coloring
1 Tablespoons Borax – usually found in the laundry detergent section of your grocery store
Plastic bag for storing Gax



  1. Mix 1 Tablespoon of Borax powder to 1 cup warm water.  Stir until all the powder has dissolved.  This makes sodium borate.
  2. In a smaller separate bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons glue and 2 Tablespoons water and stir well. 
  3. Add 3 drops of food coloring to the glue/water mix and stir.
  4. Add 1 Tablespoon of the sodium borate to the glue/water mixture.
  5. Stir and let sit for a few minutes and then it will be ready to play with.
  6. Place in an airtight container (Bag).

Hints: Don’t leave Gak on fabric, vinyl or wood.  Do not eat Gak.  Make a batch of Gak before getting to your reunion so you know how it works.

This recipe only makes a small batch.

To make Glow in the Dark Slime: Add several drops of glow-in-the-dark paint during the mixing in stage 1.

The cute graphics you see on this page may be purchased from-