Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Crochet Sleepy Bears to Show You Care


Sleepy Bears by Just a Few Stitches Crochet Group

The Just a Few Stitches Crochet Group gets a big head start crocheting Sleepy Bears for kids in their community!

We all know that Sleepy Bear makes a great gift. I love seeing the way a child’s eyes light up when they hug this lovable and cuddly bear. As summer begins to wind down, I’m already thinking about the coming holidays and all those kids out there who really need a Sleepy Bear the most. I’m thinking of the kids who lost someone special to them this year. Those who have survived tragedies like fire or natural disaster. The kids who are afflicted with illness. Those who are struggling to be accepted at school. Those who are battling depression. While a teddy bear can’t be expected to solve all their problems, it can help them to feel loved and to let them know that someone cares.

That’s why I’d like to give you this call to action. Let’s each make one Sleepy Bear to give to a child in need this holiday season. Here’s what we can do to fulfill the need between now and December 25.

STEP 1: Do you know of a child who could use the comfort of a Sleepy Bear to cuddle the whole night through? If you already have a kid in mind, that’s great! Plan on making your Sleepy Bear for him or her and skip on down to Step 2.
If you don’t, there are plenty of programs to donate your bear to. I didn’t want to limit this call to action to one specific organization, because there are so many that would be interested in your donation.

53-sleepy-bearsStart local by contacting one of these organizations in your community:

  • Fire department
  • Ambulance service
  • Police station
  • Children’s advocacy program
  • Homeless shelter
  • Domestic abuse shelter
  • Hospital (however, most hospitals do not accept handmade toys)
  • Church
  • Orphanage
  • Foster care
  • Nursing home (I know this call to action is all about kids, but these older patients could use some comfort too!)

Several national organizations accept handmade toy donations. There may even be a local chapter in your area or you might be able to mail your Sleepy Bear to them. (Please refer to the guidelines on each website when crocheting your bear and delivering it to them.)

Care Wear: http://www.carewear.org/

Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE): http://www.stuffedanimalsforemergencies.org/

Teddy Bears for Tears: http://www.mpcity.net/index.aspx?NID=515

If you find other national organizations I can add to this list, please leave a comment or email me at squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com.

STEP 2: Crochet your Sleepy Bear using my free pattern. (Be sure to use new materials and work in a smoke- and pet-free environment so your bear will be free of allergens. This is a requirement of most hospitals, but would be a courtesy to all the kids.)

STEP 3: Include a copy of “The Story of Sleepy Bear” by Maureen Speerly if you desire. Print a copy from the 1-page pdf, roll it up, and tuck it into a heart pocket that you can sew to the front of your Sleepy Bear. Scroll to the bottom of this post for the free heart pocket pattern!

STEP 4: Give your bear to the child or charity of your choice.

STEP 5: Leave a comment below or email squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com to let us know that you have donated a Sleepy Bear and I will add yours to our total.

STEP 6: While you’re at it, email me a photo of your bear and I’ll add it to the gallery of Sleepy Bears for all to see.

A Heart Pocket for Sleepy Bear’s Story

Sleepy Bear with Heart Pocket to Hold His Story

Finished Size = approximately 3 1/2″ across


Worsted-weight yarn
G-6 (4.00 mm) crochet hook
Yarn or tapestry needle


ch = chain
ch-sp = chain space
slst = slip stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet

Alternative join (aka needle join) = Complete last stitch of round. Cut yarn leaving about a 4” tail and pull tail through the loop. Thread tail onto a tapestry needle. Thread needle through both loops of next stitch from front to back and pull yarn through. Thread needle under back loop only of the last stitch in the round and pull yarn through.


Ch 4, join with slst to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), 4 dc in ring, ch 3, 5 dc in ring, ch 3, 5 dc in ring, ch 3, join with slst to top of ch-3.

Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in next st, slst in next st, hdc in next st, dc in next st, 8 dc in ch-sp, dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, (2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) in ch-sp, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 2 sts, 8 dc in ch-sp, join to top of 3-ch (or 1st dc of the round) with alternative join. Sew the heart to the front of your Sleepy Bear.

Fold the printed copy of “The Story of Sleepy Bear” until it will fit in the pocket. I found the easiest way was to fold it in half crosswise twice, then roll it into a short tube. Then tuck it into Sleepy Bear’s pocket.

Here are some other free heart crochet patterns you might enjoy making into pockets for your Sleepy Bear. (I tried to find heart patterns that were around 3 1/2″ wide, but you may have to play with the hook size and yarn weight to achieve the size heart you want for your bear.)

Heart applique by Karen Gunza of Petals to Picots

Heart Applique by Karen Gunza of Petals to Picots

Granny Heart from Kalpna Kapoor of Knit2Create

Granny Heart from Knit2Create

Love Hearts by June Gilbank of PlanetJune


6 thoughts on “Crochet Sleepy Bears to Show You Care

  1. These are really cute teddies, and I love how the heart on the belly makes him look like Tenderheart Bear… only I don’t think he had a nifty pocket!

    P.S. Let Hodge and Podge know I did receive their wonderful postcard, and if I ever break out of my dog days, I plan on having my gang send a card in response!

    • Yay! Hodge and Podge and I are excited to hear that you received the postcard. This summer has been exhausting for us too. Much too hot for squirrels. I think we’ve melted! Hang in there. Fall is just around the corner.

  2. Your Sleepy Bears are just heartwarming. I feel relaxed just looking at them. ❤

  3. A lovely idea. Mum & I made some ‘ Happy Bunnies ‘ for girls I teach who are struggling to cope ( for different reasons). We ended up making them for the entire A level physics group ( luckily only 7) for their final exam to get in to uni/ college.

    • Happy Bunnies sound so cute and loveable. And how amazing that you made 7 of them for the entire physics group. You are a dear! I know they were much appreciated and likely brought luck as well as comfort for the final exams!