At What Age Can Children Safely Mow The Lawn?

Want to get your kids involved in the family chores? Here, I’ve shared my advice on how old a child should be to safely mow the lawn.

✅ Key Takeaways:

  • Legally, a child in the UK should be at least 12 years old to operate a push lawn mower, and at least 16 years old to operate a riding lawn mower.

  • To reduce the risk of lawn mower-related injuries, set a minimum age limit for lawn mowing, provide a clear demonstration before getting started, and supervise your children while they’re mowing.

  • Mowing the lawn gives your kids an opportunity to learn an important life skill, keep fit, and perhaps even earn some pocket money.

Table of Contents

👶 How Old Should A Child Be To Mow The Lawn?

A child should be at least 12 years old to safely mow the lawn.


Children younger than 12 are unlikely to have the maturity required to take their lawn mowing duties seriously, so they’re at greater risk of lawn mower-related injuries due to poor handling.


Your child’s maturity level is only part of the equation. Younger children simply aren’t strong enough to safely push a heavy mower, especially if your lawn has slopes and hills, and they’re not tall enough to push the handle as intended by the manufacturer.


If in doubt, check your user manual. This should provide information on lawn mower safety, including a minimum age for the person mowing.

🚜 When Can Children Use A Ride-On Mower?

The legal minimum age limit for riding mowers in the UK is 16 years old, so your children need to be at least 16 to operate this mower type.


A riding mower is more dangerous to operate than a push mower, so make sure to thoroughly teach children how to safely use this mower before allowing them to hop into the driver’s seat.

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👷🏻 5 Safety Practices For Children Mowing The Lawn

Even if your child is legally old enough to use a lawn mower, there are still several safety practices that you should follow when mowing the lawn.

🚫 Set A Minimum Age Limit

Children younger than 12 shouldn’t mow the lawn, so if you want to avoid a trip to the emergency department, only allow your child to start mowing once they’re old enough.


Older children are stronger and more sensible, so they’ll be able to safely operate the mower without pulling any dangerous tricks.

✂️ Do A Demonstration

Learning anything in life is always easier if we get to see a demonstration. Before your child’s first time mowing your lawn, show them how it’s done and mow a few laps.


After your demonstration, ask your child if they have any questions before they get started. Take the time to explain anything that they might be unsure about and reiterate everything they should and shouldn’t do to stay safe and avoid lawn mower injuries.

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🔌 Buy An Easy-To-Use Mower

A child will struggle to operate a heavy, bulky petrol mower. If you want to involve your kids in lawn mowing, buy a smaller, lighter, easy-use mower, like a corded electric lawn mower or a manual push mower.


If you have a very big lawn, you’ll probably want to use a petrol mower for its speed and wider cutting deck. These mowers aren’t suitable for younger children. Use your own initiative and decide whether or not your child will be able to safely operate the mower. If the answer is no, sorry – lawn mowing is a chore you’ll unfortunately have to continue with yourself!

👀 Supervise Your Child At All Times

Adult supervision is essential when children under the age of 18 are using a lawn mower.


Stay in the garden to keep an eye on your child’s progress. You can jump in to help if you spot a potential danger, and you’ll be within hearing distance if your child calls for help.

💪 Take Over For Tough Spots

Certain spots in your lawn, such as tight corners, slopes, and edges, might be too difficult for your children to mow, especially in their younger teens.


Tell your child to leave these spots and finish off the job once they’ve finished. This will prevent injuries from over-exertion or trying to take on a task that requires adult strength or mobility.

✔️ Benefits Of Lawn Mowing For Children

There are a few benefits of encouraging your children to mow the lawn:

📝 An Indispensable Life Skill

Maybe one day, we’ll all use robot lawn mowers, and the need to mow the lawn manually will no longer exist. But for now, with robot mowers being too expensive for most families, manual lawn mowing is still a very useful skill to have.


If your kids learn how to mow the lawn under your supervision, they’ll be able to confidently use a mower when they move into their own homes and take full responsibility for their lawn care duties.

💰 A Great Way To Earn Pocket Money

If you’re keen to teach your children the way of the world, you might be happy to pay them a little pocket money for a good job well done.


Paying your children to mow the lawn helps them to see the value of hard work, gives them a sense of ownership, and teaches them money management skills.

🏋🏻 An Opportunity To Keep Fit

Some children need some gentle encouragement to spend a few minutes away from the TV and partake in some light activity.


If your child isn’t interested in sports, mowing the lawn is an easier way to get their heart rate going in a pleasant outdoor setting.

🏁 Final Word

Adults are well aware of the potential dangers of lawn mower use, but kids can be more naive. Make sure to take the time to thoroughly teach your child how to operate a lawn mower before you let them loose on your lawn.


If you don’t think your child is mentally or physically developed enough to use a mower, why not wait until next year? There’s no rush for them to learn this skill, and it’s better to wait until they’re ready than to deal with a potential injury.