| |

11 Adorable Knitting Patterns for Children’s Hats You’ll Love Knitting

Need hats for toddlers to pre-teens? Check out these knitting patterns for children’s hats (most of them free!)

It seems like whenever we think of charity knitting for young ones, we concentrate on babies and preemies and forget about the ones who are walking and talking.

Knitting patterns for babies seem to be everywhere; for children, not so much. 

But children are often in need too:

  • In poor households, children often go without hats, mittens, scarves.
  • In orphanages overseas, children can often use a nice pair of warm socks.
  • Children in traumatic situations can appreciate a warm blanket to snuggle up with.
  • Children suffering from childhood cancers could use soft, comfortable hats when they start losing their hair following treatment.

Let’s start with hats!

I love knitting hats. Why? One, you only have to knit one of them. Two, they’re small and easy to knit. Three, they’re a fun way to play with colors and stitch patterns. And finally, they go such a long way toward keeping children warm.

So below is a collection of knitting patterns for children’s hats!

Note: when I first published this collection, all the patterns below were free. Since then, however, some of them have been become paid patterns. I’ve kept the patterns in this collection because they’re wonderful patterns, and I firmly believe knitting designers should be rewarded!

Free Knitting Patterns for Children’s Hats

Barley - Tin Can Knits
Photo: Tin Can Knits

Barley: This is one of the most popular free children’s hats pattern online, and it’s easy to see why. It’s easy, and the pattern offers sizes from baby to adult. You could conceivably create a hat each for everyone in a family.

Garter Ear Flap Hat
Garter Ear Flap Hat
Photo: Purl Soho

This is also a terrific hat knitting pattern for beginners.

Garter Ear Flap Hat: I can’t say enough about this adorable hat. I love everything about it, from the petite ear flaps to the lines radiating downward from the crown to the little frilly topper.

Antler Toque
Antler Toque
Photo: Tin Can Knits

Antler Toque: Yet another all-ages hat, I love the little antler-style cables that radiate down both sides of the hat.

Classic Cuffed Hat
Classic Cuffed Hat
Photo: Purl Soho

Classic Cuffed Hat: It seems like this kind of hat has been around forever: a simple stocking cap with a wide cuff and an adorable pom pom at the top. Warm and snuggly, sometimes there’s no improving upon a classic.

Little Scallops: You gotta love hats that can help you use up yarn, and if you have two different colors of leftover yarn just waiting for a pattern, this may be the one for you. The scallop design adds attractive visual interest.

(The pattern appears in both Swedish and English; just scroll down the page for the English version.)

Clayoquot Toque
Clayoquot Toque
Photo: Tin Can Knits

Clayoquot Toque: If you want to give Fair Isle a try, this hat pattern is the perfect place to do so. Particularly when you knit for a toddler or child, this hat pattern is small enough to be not so intimidating when you’re contemplating seemingly complex colorwork.

Luuk: This is truly a hat for anyone. Not only does it offer preemie sizing, but it also offers “large adult” sizing. So you can knit it for tiny preemies as well as that notorious large-headed hard-to-fit relative.

And of course, it makes an adorable child’s hat!

free hat knitting pattern for chiildren
Strib Hat Photo: Kelly Williams

Strib Hat: Here’s a simple striped and ribbed beanie that works up quickly and sweetly.

More Delightful Children’s Hats Worth Knitting

Note: the patterns here are no longer free, but they’re too good not to take a look at! And they’re definitely worth the price.

Swirl Hat
Swirl Hat
Photo: Mandie Harrington

Swirl Hat: The swirling lines of this lovely hat pattern make it especially stylish. And it’s not just for girls, either; in a dark color like blue, green, brown, gray, or black, it’s just as suitable for boys.

Basic Hats for Everyone
Basic Hats for Everyone
Photo: Purl Soho

Basic Hats for Everyone: In all sizes, and in 4 different styles (solid color, one stripe, three stripes, and pinstripes), this could be the only hat pattern you ever need.

I Heart Cables: This pattern has it all! It features cables, earflaps, adorable ties to keep the hat snugly on the head, and not one but three pom poms!

Now that you’re well-equipped with a selection of the most charming knitting patterns for children’s hats, I hope you’ll find knitting for children even more enjoyable!

Adorable Knitting Patterns for Children's Hats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Some of these patterns are discontinued and some of them are not free. They’re worth buying but shouldn’t be advertised as being available for free. After all designers should be paid.

    1. Thank you for letting me know, Karen. At the time I first put together the post, all the patterns were available and free, but sometimes designers choose to take down their patterns and/or start charging for them (which is, of course, their right and privilege, as designing patterns takes a lot of time and effort). I’ll be sure and change the post to reflect which patterns are not free. Thanks again!

  2. Great selection of hats for kids. I have made many of them for our Christmas Giving Tree at church. Every child on the list gets a hat along with a toy and piece of clothing of their choice. I would like to add scarf/cowl for each and mittens for the little ones. C