Limericks for kids have existed all the way from Hickory Dickory Dock to the present day.
The birds of the air and the land, which
We observe upon any day, and which
We consume with delight
Are all dinosaurs, right?
And your lunch is a theropod sandwich.
John Arthur Nichol
The five lines of this uniquely popular verse form are a perfect vehicle for humour, and this is something that children appreciate.
The earliest book of limericks was not intended primarily for kids, or to make people laugh ... but it had its moments.
Since then, limericks have advanced through Edward Lear to the present, embracing every situation imaginable ... and they're not all suitable for children.
But the verses below are 100% family friendly limericks for kids. They're a selection from my own book, The Fifth Line: Limericks After Lear ...
A Travelling Lass of the firth
Spun around till she entered the earth;
And emerging in Chertsey,
She offered a curtsey,
And said, “I was aiming for Perth.”
There was a Young Lady of Bute
Who climbed an enormous green shoot;
It led up to a cloud
That was leaky and loud,
So she bought an umbrella en route.
There was an Old Man of the West
Who woke with a seal on his chest;
Though he dealt it a blow,
It refused to let go,
And he couldn’t fit into his vest.
A Seafaring Man of Quebec,
Turned his galleon into a wreck,
By releasing the wheel
With a womanly squeal
When a beetle ran over his neck.
There was a Young Lady of Tring,
Who’d leap in the air and take wing;
For her mum was a fairy,
But Father was wary,
And tethered them both on a string.
There was a Young Lady of Welling,
Whose brother was constantly yelling;
Which she couldn’t abide,
So she took him inside,
And insisted he finish his spelling.
There was an Old Person of Ems,
A village immersed in the Thames,
Who could breathe with a reed,
Though he hadn’t the need,
For his air was all there in the Thames.
A Man of the East, with a frown,
Rode his powerful beast through the town;
Back and forth, to and fro,
For a decade or so,
Cause he didn’t know how to get down.
There was a Young Girl of Majorca,
Who rode on the back of an orca,
And she called to her aunt
To go slower. “I can’t!”
Cause her aunt was a very fast walker.
There was a Young Lady of Parma,
Who swam with a panicking llama;
But her friend from Majorca
Appeared on her orca,
And Palmer (the llama) was calmer.
There was a Young Lady of Wales
Who balanced her weight on the scales,
With a dog and a fox,
And a little pink box
That contained her collection of snails.
There was a Young Lady of Ryde,
Who took most events in her stride;
But in spite of all that
She would often fall flat,
For her shoes were forever untied.
The twelve limericks above, and 100 more like them, await you in The Fifth Line: Limericks After Lear, by John Arthur Nichol. PS: Read more here :)