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13 Fun & Beautiful Children’s Scarves to Knit – Free!

Tilt the odds in your favor (of a scarf being worn!) with these free patterns for children’s scarves to knit

One type of knitting pattern seems to separate children from babies and toddlers: the scarf. We don’t usually put scarves on babies or toddlers, for a few reasons.

Number one, there tends to be very little space between a baby or toddler’s head and his or her shoulders. Until they get to about preschool or kindergarten age, scarves aren’t really necessary because coats and hats are usually enough to keep them warm.

Another reason is that babies and toddlers often don’t like scarves – at least, not around their necks.

A final reason is that it’s somewhat hazardous. Scarves can choke a very young child if they become caught on something.

Challenges of Children’s Scarves–and Benefits to Knitting Them

The challenge is that while children about kindergarten age and up should wear a scarf when the weather gets cold, quite often they do not want to wear one! So if you want patterns for children’s scarves to knit, you need to find some that s/he will actually want to wear.

While that can be a drawback to children’s scarves to knit, one great thing about it is that a child’s scarf takes less time to knit than an adult scarf. Children’s scarves can be narrower and shorter.

In fact, if the scarf has some sort of closure, like a button, or is designed to be knotted with short ends, it’ll stay on far better – which tends to also make children like scarves better.

So what follows is a collection of free knitting patterns for scarves that children may actually want to wear. (Note I said “may” – as we all know, each child is different! Promising that every child will love every one of these patterns would be madness.)

One Row Handspun Scarf
One Row Handspun Scarf
Photo: Lone Kerr

Free Patterns for Children’s Scarves

One Row Handspun Scarf: This is a Stephanie Pearl-MchPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) original, and it is as easy as it is lovely. If you have some handspun yarn you’re dying to use, this could be an excellent pattern for it.

You’ll have the joy of beautiful yarn combined with the satisfaction of a nearly mindless knit. This pattern literally is a one-row pattern; that is, every row is identical.

Fox Scarf: It’s hard to think of an elementary-aged child who wouldn’t love this adorable scarf! Scroll down the page for the English version of the pattern.

free scarf pattern - Irish Hiking scarf
Irish Hiking Scarf
Photo: Adrian Bizilia

Irish Hiking Scarf: This beautiful, deceptively simple pattern is especially nice for teenagers, who are most likely to enjoy the simple yet sophisticated look of this scarf.

Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf - Purl Soho
Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf
Photo: Purl Soho

Easy Mistake Stitch Scarf: This pattern is similar to the above-mentioned One Row scarf in that it consists of one row repeated until you’re sick of it, or until it’s long enough to wrap around a child’s neck at least once. (Hopefully the latter!)

Anthro-Inspired Scarflet: A beautiful buttoned-down short scarf that’s perfect for young ladies.

Red Heart Glitzy Ruffle Scarf
Red Heart Glitzy Ruffle Scarf
Photo: Yarnspirations

Red Heart Glitzy Ruffle Scarf: Want to make a scarf the girls will adore? Try this darling ruffle scarf pattern using one of the many yarns designed just for this purpose.

Buttonedscarf: Yet another scarf that can be buttoned, this one is completely unisex and can be adorned with adorable tassels.

Beginner Keyhole Scarf: Another completely unisex short scarf pattern, this one doesn’t button. Instead, a small hole allows one side of the scarf to thread into the other, thus holding it securely.

Longcat Scarf: Know a child who loves cats? He or she will flip for this adorable cat scarf!

Harry Potter scarf
Done by Halloween Harry Potter House Scarf
Photo: Abby Tohline

Garter Snake Scarf: And for the child who loves snakes, there’s this too-cute scarf pattern.

Done by Halloween Harry Potter House Scarf: This scarf pattern is perfect for the wizard-loving child.

Red Heart One Ball Furry Scarf
Red Heart One Ball Furry Scarf
Photo: Yarnspirations

One Ball Furry Scarf: Lots of girls (and plenty of boys, too) just love soft, fuzzy scarves like this one. Grab some soft fun fur yarn and knit up a few of these!

Better Pocket Scarf: Now this is a clever idea! It’s a warm, wonderful scarf with two large pockets, one on each end. I know my own daughters just love wearing anything with pockets, and I’ll bet the kids in your life feel the same. You may have difficulty getting him or her to take it off!

I hope you’ll find in this collection the scarf pattern that’s just right for the child in your life – or to inspire you to create children’s scarves to knit for charity!

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