June 23, 2024

Limericks for Kids to Share in the Classroom

Dating back to the 14th century, limericks are a delightful, often silly way to tell a short story. These quick poems are wildly entertaining and imaginative, and anyone can write them. Once you’ve mastered the rhythm, you can spin a tale that leaves people roaring with laughter. That’s why students find them so fun!

Here’s a list of limericks for kids to share in the classroom. (Be sure to read them for appropriateness first!)

What Is a Limerick?

Limericks follow a single stanza structure and consist of five lines. You’ll need to use an AABBA rhyme scheme, with lines one, two, and five ending with rhyming words. Lines three and four should use a second rhyme. It might sound a little tricky, but once you’ve read a few, you’ll quickly pick up the sequence. 

Edward Lear popularized limericks with his famous A Book of Nonsense, which was released in the 1800s. Modern authors have reprinted his work in books such as The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear. Some of the limericks for kids on this list are from that very collection! 

Limericks for Kids

1. There was an old man of Nantucket

There was an old man of Nantucket

Who kept all his cash in a bucket;

But his daughter, named Nan

Ran away with a man—

And as far as the bucket, Nantucket.

2. A certain young fellow named Bee-Bee

A certain young fellow named Bee-Bee

Wished to wed a woman named Phoebe.

“But,” he said, “I must see

What the clerical fee

Be before Phoebe be Phoebe Bee-Bee.”

3. There once was a fly on the wall

There once was a fly on the wall.

There once was a fly on the wall

I wonder why didn’t it fall

Because its feet stuck

Or was it just luck

Or does gravity miss things so small?

4. There once was a farmer from Leeds

There once was a farmer from Leeds,

Who swallowed a packet of seeds.

It soon came to pass,

He was covered with grass,

But has all the tomatoes he needs.

5. A canner, exceedingly canny

A canner, exceedingly canny

One morning remarked to his granny,

“A canner can can

Anything that he can;

But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”

6. There was a young man from Dealing

There was a young man from Dealing

Who caught the bus for Ealing.

It said on the door

“Don’t spit on the floor”

So he jumped up and spat on the ceiling

7. A fellow jumped off a high wall

A fellow jumped off a high wall.

A fellow jumped off a high wall

And had a most terrible fall.

He went back to bed,

With a bump on his head,

That’s why you don’t jump off a wall.

8. Here’s to the chigger

Here’s to the chigger

The bug that’s no bigger

Than the point of an undersized pin;

But the welt that he raises

Sure itches like blazes,

And that’s where the rub comes in!

9. As 007 walked by

As 007 walked by

He heard a wee spider say, “Hi.”

But shaken, he shot

It right there on the spot

As it tried to explain, “I’m a spi …”

10. An elderly man called Keith

An elderly man called Keith.

An elderly man called Keith

Mislaid his set of false teeth—

They’d been laid on a chair,

He’d forgot they were there,

Sat down, and was bitten beneath.

11. There was an old man from Milan

There was an old man from Milan

Whose limericks never would scan.

When told this was so,

He said, “yes, I know.

But I always try to get as many syllables into the last line as I possibly can.”

12. I’m papering walls in the loo

I’m papering walls in the loo.

I’m papering walls in the loo

And quite frankly I haven’t a clue;

For the pattern’s all wrong

(Or the paper’s too long)

And I’m stuck to the toilet with glue.

13. There was an odd fellow named Gus

There was an odd fellow named Gus

When traveling he made such a fuss.

He was banned from the train,

Not allowed on a plane,

And now travels only by bus.

14. Is it me or the nature of money

Is it me or the nature of money

That’s odd and peculiar? Funny,

But when I have dough

It goes quickly, you know,

And seeps out of my pockets like honey.

15. There was a young woman named Bright

There was a young woman named Bright.

There was a young woman named Bright

Whose speed was much faster than light.

She set out one day,

In a relative way,

And returned on the previous night.

16. There once was a man from Tibet

There once was a man from Tibet

Who couldn’t find a cigarette

So he smoked all his socks,

and got chicken-pox,

and had to go to the vet.

17. I need a front door for my hall

I need a front door for my hall.

I need a front door for my hall

The replacement I bought was too tall.

So I hacked it and chopped it,

And carefully lopped it,

And now the dumb thing is too small.

18. A newspaperman named Fling

A newspaperman named Fling

Could make “copy” from any old thing.

But the copy he wrote,

Of a five-dollar note,

Was so good he now wears so much bling.

19. There was an old man of Peru

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.

20. I know an old owl named Boo

I know an old owl named Boo.

I know an old owl named Boo

Every night he yelled Hoo,

Once a kid walked by,

And started to cry,

And yelled I don’t have a clue!

21. I once fell in love with a blonde

I once fell in love with a blonde

But found that she wasn’t so fond.

Of my pet turtle named Odle,

whom I’d taught how to yodel,

So she dumped him outside in the pond.

22. My dog is really quite hip

My dog is really quite hip.

My dog is really quite hip

Except when he takes a cold dip.

He looks like a fool,

when he jumps in the pool,

and reminds me of a sinking ship.

23. I’d rather have Fingers than Toes

I’d rather have Fingers than Toes

I’d rather have Ears than a Nose.

And as for my Hair,

I’m glad it’s all there,

I’ll be awfully sad when it goes.

24. There was a young schoolboy of Rye

There was a young schoolboy of Rye

Who was baked by mistake in a pie.

To his mother’s disgust,

He emerged through the crust,

And exclaimed, with a yawn, Where am I?

25. There was a Young Lady whose chin

There was a Young Lady whose chin.

There was a Young Lady whose chin

Resembled the point of a pin:

So she had it made sharp,

And purchased a harp,

And played several tunes with her chin. 

26. There was a young lady of Cork

There was a young lady of Cork

Whose Pa made a fortune in pork.

He bought for his daughter,

A tutor who taught her,

To balance green peas on her fork.

27. A painter, who lived in Great Britain

A painter, who lived in Great Britain

Interrupted two girls with their knitting,

He said, with a sigh,

That park bench—well I,

Just painted it, right where you’re sitting.

28. Hickory dickory dock

Hickory dickory dock,

The mouse ran up the clock;

The clock struck one,

And down he run,

Hickory dickory dock.

29. There is a young schoolboy named Mason

There is a young schoolboy named Mason.

There is a young schoolboy named Mason

Whose mom cuts his hair with a basin.

When he stands in one place,

With a scarf round his face,

It’s a mystery which way he’s facing.

30. The incredible Wizard of Oz

The incredible Wizard of Oz

Retired from his business becoz.

Due to up-to-date science,

To most of his clients,

He wasn’t the Wizard he woz.

We hope you liked these limericks for kids! Want more poetry? Check out these poems about teaching.

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