10 Fun (and Harmless!) Pranks to Play on Your Grandkids

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I have said it before, and I will repeat it (and probably again in a future article, so stay tuned!): laughter is one of the best ways to bond with your grandchildren, so I am always looking for new and creative ways to make them crack a smile. An easy – and friendly! – way to do this is through pranking, my favorite, of which, includes these 10 fun and harmless jokes below.

Note: every grandma-grandchild relationship is different! Of course some of these will not go over very well depending on your dynamic and especially your grandchild’s age. The main purpose of this article is to give ideas to have wholesome fun with your grandkids.

And I’m definitely not suggesting you play these pranks WITH your grandkids on their parents. Nope, definitely not… 😉


1. Switch the salt and sugar containers in the kitchen

Why not begin with the gold standard of clean pranks? Pulling off this one is straightforward, as you simply swap out the two. (Tip: Remember to put them back in their original container, as salt does not taste great in your morning coffee!)

2. Put googly eyes on items around the house, like the fruit bowl, bathroom mirror, or TV remote

I still remember the giggles from this prank from the grandkids and myself! From the remote to the peanut butter jar to the toilet lid, nearly everything in grandma’s house would stare back at you! This one is fun and super affordable, as you can find googly eyes at most dollar stores.

3. Put a fake spider in their bed or somewhere where they’ll find it

Okay, this one is a little mean, so be warned that the prank may be reciprocated (in the form of a fake yet lifelike snake hanging off a shelf in your pantry)! 

4. Hide a small toy or treat somewhere in the house and give the kid clues to find it

Did you see my ideas for a scavenger hunt? This would be perfect for this sweet and wholesome “prank.”

5. Serve them a plate of “cupcakes” that are actually meatloaf muffins with mashed potato frosting

I don’t know about your grandkids, but my grandkids didn’t find this one very funny – especially when they were prepared for chocolate cupcakes with homemade icing! (Don’t worry: I pulled out the real thing after the prank.)

To be honest, the prank food wasn’t so bad at all… what’s not to like?

6. Hide a small toy or trinket in their Jello

Have you ever watched the show “The Office”? If so, you may remember the iconic scene where Jim pranks his co-worker, Dwight, by putting his stapler in a Jello mold. While you don’t have to do anything as fancy (or irrelevant) as office supplies, you can do a small toy or plastic trinket. 

Of course it should be visible right away – no choking hazards please!

7. Put a piece of clear tape over the sensor of the TV remote so it won’t work until they figure it out

Another alternative is taking the batteries out of the remote, which my son once did to his dad (and took him a good minute to figure out, ha). 

8. Switch all of your family photos around and see how long til they notice

Don’t just move them around, but if you can, replace them completely with different photos. There’s a good chance they won’t notice at all but, hey, half the fun is just watching and keeping it light.

9. Swap one of their belongings for something else

This one highly depends on the age of your grandchild (some will NOT appreciate it!) but younger ones can get a kick out of grandma as she tries to put the right shoe on the left foot, or maybe tries to put grandma’s coat on them instead of their own.

10. Dress up in a funny costume or mask, then pretend nothing is different

I actually remember when I was a kid (looooong ago), my dad would do this all the time. He would come up with some sort of costume or disguise, put it on, and then just go about reading the paper like nothing was different. Even when we laughed and asked him what he was doing, he wouldn’t flinch! Some of my favorite memories.

Have you played any pranks on your grandkids? Do you have any other fun and harmless ideas? I am all ears! By the way, if you try any of these, will you please let me know? Shoot me an email – I love corresponding with my fellow grandmas.

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