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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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