Limericks for Kids

Drool

By Michelle Lynn Senters-

It’s time to get silly! Here is a limerick I wrote for the day:

There was an old dog named Drool,
Who thought he was cooler than cool.
He put on his shades,
and strolled through the glades.
He looked like a silly old fool!

A limerick is a 5-line, nonsense poem that follows an AABBA rhyming pattern.
While most people believe limericks are of Irish descent, the earliest examples are found in England in the 18th century. Later, the English poet, Edward Lear, popularized limericks in the 1800’s through the publication of two books, both entitled “Book of Nonsense”.

Here are a few silly limericks from Edward Leer. Notice the AABBA rhyming pattern.

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, ‘It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!’

There was a Young Lady whose bonnet,
Came untied when the birds sate upon it;
But she said: ‘I don’t care!
All the birds in the air
Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!’

There was an old man of Dumbree,
Who taught little owls to drink tea;
For he said, ‘To eat mice,
Is not proper or nice
So my friends you must let them go free.’

There was an old man of Peru
Who dreamt he was eating his shoe.
He woke in the night,
With a terrible fright,
And found it was perfectly true.

Most limericks follow a strong rhythmic pattern, although it is not necessary to align the syllables perfectly.

da DUM da da DUM da da DUM
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM
da DUM da da DUM
da DUM da da DUM
da DUM da da DUM da da DUM

A couple more, for your enjoyment…

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, “let us flee!”
“Let us fly!” said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
—Ogden Nash

Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock;
the clock struck one
and down he run;
hickory dickory dock.
—Mother Goose

Activity

Now it’s your turn to write a nonsense limerick.

  • Use 5 lines.
  • Use an AABBA rhyming pattern. (Lines 1,2,5 rhyme. Lines 3 and 4 rhyme)
  • Choose clever, unexpected words.
  • Be SILLY and NONSENSICAL.
  • Illustrate your limericks, if desired.

Check-In

In the comment section below, write your first name, age, and your limerick. Offer encouragement to each other by reading and commenting on student work.

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Michelle Lynn Senters is the Founder and Director of KIDS ARE WRITERS. She spends her days working as a Reading Interventionist and spends her evenings writing books for children and adults. You can learn more about Michelle HERE and at www.michellelynnsenters.com.

IMPORTANT: Students, NEVER reveal personal information while commenting. NO last names or contact information. I will delete any comments that contain personal information or comments that are inappropriate or off-topic.

31 thoughts on “Limericks for Kids

  1. Ryan 9
    There was a young man in New York.
    He had a very strong addiction to pork
    Until one day when a cow came to say;
    ” go eat some country fried stork”

  2. Bella, 13.
    There once was a cat,
    he sat on a blue hat.
    He saw a mouse
    that had a louse,
    but he chased it away with a bat.

  3. Emily, 13
    1) I once knew a man who could fly
    I told him I wanted to try
    So I climbed up a wall
    Then took a great fall
    Turns out I cannot fly

    2) Oh what to write a limerick about
    Ideas I wish I could spout
    Yet here I sit
    Unwilling to quit
    Until in my work there’s no doubt

    (I did 2 just because)

    • The last line of the first one was supposed to be “turns out THAT I cannot fly” woops

    • Loved the limericks, Emily. I especially like the first one- Ode to Humpty Dumpty. Do you like the title I chose for you? Haha. I was just talking with someone that limericks are so short, it’s easy to write several in a sitting.

  4. Kaylie, 13

    There was once a young maid with the flu
    And she just didn’t know what to do
    So she asked her grandmother
    Who consulted her brother
    Who made her a bowl full of stew

  5. There once was a lady with bleach
    She got it from a young leach
    The leach went ” Oh yuck”
    Then Complained to a duck
    ” I don’t like that lady with bleach

  6. There once was a melancholy scarab
    who fell in love with a cheery pink cherub.
    She felt all was lost
    and cried in the moss
    when she found a glob of delicious old carob.

  7. I really liked all of the lyrics, they could all be the start of another Mother Goose’s Rhyming book. Haha!

  8. There was a small cat
    he was really fat.
    His name was Franz
    his brother is Hanz.
    They were real chatty cats.

    I wrote it about my real cat Franz. 😉 a wink, :) a smile, and 😀 a really happy face.

  9. There once was a boy from gath
    he didn’t like taking a bath
    he didn’t like rules
    but he was really cool
    was the dirty boy from Gath.

  10. Great limericks, guys!
    Erik, 12:

    Porcupine and Kitty – love that never could be.
    They have NOTHING in similarity.
    Except that they are mammals,
    and they climb trees without falls.
    I guess they ARE alike, you see!

    😀

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