Little kids love play lawn mowers, and we totally understand why: Yard work is fun when it’s just pretend! And frankly, mowing the lawn is just one of many “adulting” chores that fall into the category of actual work for the grown-up doing them, but imaginative play for the kids pretending — that’s why play broom-and-dustpan sets, gardening tools, toy vacuums, irons and ironing boards and, yes, play lawn mowers exist in the first place. If only we still felt such joy…
Of course, like many grown-up “toys,” real lawn mowers are big, noisy, dangerous things that kids should stay far away from — even though the idea of a giant push- or ride-on contraption that gives the entire front yard a haircut sounds pretty darn cool. The good news is that you can ditch the danger and keep the fun with play lawn mowers that look like shrunken down versions of the real thing, make fun revving and popping sound effects, light up, and even blow bubbles. (Honestly, we’re a little jealous.) Plus, pretend lawn-mowing encourages imaginative play that’s both active and out-of-doors — win-win!
So if you’ve got a kid who always wants to do what mom and dad are doing — or maybe is just into landscaping — a play lawnmower is a great addition to your toy arsenal, and the five fun mowers below are all great options to consider. Just make a mental note remind them of how much they liked to pretend to mow the lawn when they’re actually old enough to have to do it as a chore!
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1. Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower
A simple yet eye-catching toy, it’s a childhood classic for a reason. It is ready to go out of the box, with fun battery-free effects like a revving engine and popping beads. A removable gas can even lets kids pretend to add gas. A key and knob also provide more tactile fun as they push it around the yard, sidewalk or living room. Recommended for ages 18 months and up.
2. Husqvarna Toy Lawn Mower
While it doesn’t have as many tactile elements as the Little Tikes mower, it does have one big advantage: It really looks like the real thing. Based on an actual Husqvarna mower, it’s just been shrunk down for toddlers. Battery-operated lights and engine sounds add to the overall realistic effect. Also not ideal at offering balance assistance for new walkers. Recommended for ages 2-5 years old.
3. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Snappy Turtle Mower
While it doesn’t light up or make noise while you push it, Melissa & Dough’s happy turtle lawnmower is still an excellent option. In addition to featuring sliding and clicking dials, a pull chain clicks as kids “rev” the engine. The turtle’s “shell” also opens to reveal a compartment for storing treasures. It also includes a plastic fuel can for gassing up. It’s also the sturdiest mower on our list, making it the better pick for toddlers who need some extra balance help. Recommended for ages 2-4 years.
4. Lydaz Bubble Mower
A play lawn mower with bubbles? Yes, please! When kids push this toy mower, a bubble machine spins and fills the air with bubbles. This particular model uses an electric motor to spin the wands. The batteries also power an on/off button with engine revving noises. Once the batteries are added, an adult just needs to add a bubble solution to the well. Kids control the wand’s motor with a button.Recommended for ages 18 months and up.