Beside Myself: Why April Fools is Important

fools pic

David Sewell McCann will happily lose some sleep if it means teaching his children that “Life is Fun.”

Last night I got 4 hours of sleep. And it was not because of work or because one of my son’s was sick or because I was traveling. It was because I was working on pranks.

Every year since my boys were old enough to appreciate my work, I have prioritized April Fools Day. I’d stay up late or wake early or both—all to have a series of pranks all prepared—with the hopes up authentically surprising them and showing up the year previous.

My boys enjoy it, to be sure. But last year I noticed something that held true this year. What they love about April Fools more than anything—is how much fun I’m having. They delight in my delight.

After they fell for the classic “juice is really jello” trick, they looked at me and giggled at how happy I was. When my younger boy realized I wrote a note to him on the bottom of his foot, he was at first confused and then joyful because I was cracking up in the kitchen.

Children love to see their parents having a good time. That is why they don’t have to understand the joke. They don’t need to know what the “grown ups are talking about” to laugh along with them. When they see their Daddy giggling like a school boy who just put a whoopie cushion on their teacher’s chair, they getting an important message: “Life is fun.” And I’ll happily lose some sleep to help that message endure.

Photo: Courtesy of the author

About David Sewell McCann

David Sewell McCann found storytelling to be so powerful and effective, he became a full-time storyteller. He tell stories to thousands of children every day, world wide through his website His theory about the power of storytelling has found evidence in the many, many emails he’s received from parents over they years, describing how their ‘sensitive children’ can relax and feel reassured when they listen to Sparkle’s stories. For more storytelling instruction, go to the blog.


  1. David i so remember the delight of the first graders when they stood up for the wrong names at the beginning of the day. Fun is absolutely one of the many things they will carry with them about their time with you. Carry On!

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