SOME of the stuffing had been knocked out of them and they were a little shabby from one too many hugs, but they were still tenderly carried down to the shade of the woods yesterday as the teddy bears' picnic got under way.
And true to nursery lore, there were plenty of surprises for the tiny tots and their furry friends.
A stilt walker left little 15-month-old Ruby Shevlin, from Lusk, Co Dublin, wide-eyed with wonder, while the older children enjoyed the DJ, face-painting and bouncy castles at Blackrock Park in Dublin.
Ellen Morris (3), from Mount Merrion, was spotted waiting anxiously to hear the prognosis as 'Teddy Bear Doctor' Sarah Mooney examined her charge for fraying, loss of stuffing or missing eye buttons.
Hundreds of families attended the event organised by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, with a teddy bear of any shape or size the only ticket required for entry to the free event.