How to Write Limericks

Learn how to write limericks

Limerick poems are a great way to get your child interested in poetry! Poetry is a unique writing style that allows children to be much more creative and expressive, so it can be a great outlet for them. Limerick poetry, specifically, allows children to understand how poetry can feel musical, like a song or tune, when it has rhyming in it. If your child needs more knowledge about rhyming specifically, please reference our rhyming patterns page. Now, let’s talk about how to write limericks!

What are limerick poems?

Limerick poems are poems that follow the rhyming pattern of AABBA. Each letter in that rhyming pattern represents a line of the poem. The lines that are represented by the same letter end with words that rhyme with each other.

Additionally, limerick poems follow a specific syllable count. There can be between 7-10 syllables in the first, second, and fifth lines while there can only be between 5-7 syllables in the third and fourth lines. In order to count syllables, you need to count how many different sounds are in the line. Remember, the syllable count is not always the same as how many words you may have in the line. The easiest way to count syllables is to say each line out loud and count how many sounds it takes you to speak the words.

This all may sound a little confusing, so, here is an example of a limerick poem following the correct rhyming pattern and syllable count:

Maji and Sam are the best of friends. (9 syllables)

Together, time feels like it has no end. (10 syllables)

They love to jump in the pool. (6 syllables)

This helps them to stay cool. (6 syllables)

Sometimes, they stay inside and play pretend! (10 syllables)

Topic ideas for children writing limericks at home

Write a limerick about…

  1. Your favorite sport. Write about why it’s the best sport!
  2. Your best friend. Write about what you love about them!
  3. One of your hobbies. Describe it in detail!
  4. Your favorite summer activity. Describe why you like doing that activity in the summer!
  5. Your favorite food. Why do you like it more than other foods?
  6. Your favorite place on Earth. What makes it so special?
  7. The sky. This could be about the solar system, the stars, the clouds, the sun, or anything that interests you that exists in the sky!
  8. Your favorite subject in school. Why do you like that subject?
  9. Your family. Tell us about your parents, pets, and siblings!
  10. Your favorite cartoon. What makes it so great to watch?

Activity & Resource

Now that your child has a solid understanding of limerick poems (and even has an example to reference), they are ready to get started with an activity we’ve come up with! In this activity, they will need to use the rhyming pattern we’ve discussed to finish a limerick poem. Good luck!

Activity to Finish writing a limerick

Get this resource as a PDF


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