Yard Work Jobs That Are Good for Kids

Your budding entrepreneur can provide a number of services

Girl mowing lawn
Paul Bradbury Getty Images

Your child wants to work. He's enterprising, energetic, and his wish list in life goes a little beyond what the allowance you might pay him provides for. But he's under the legal age for working in your state. Does this preclude him from earning a few extra bucks?

Not at all. Kids can earn money shoveling snow, raking leaves or even planting flowers, depending on the season and the climate where you live.

They might learn a little business savvy while they're at it. 

Advantages of Yard Work 

  • It offers opportunities for various ages: The responsibilities can differ depending on the age of your child. As long as she explains what she is able to do for the homeowner upfront, it could be a great job for younger children. As she grows, she'll be able to do more and charge a higher rate.

  • It's a great introduction to the working world: If your child hasn't held a job yet, helping neighbors rake their lawn can be a great first job.

  • It's flexible: Your child can choose to work just one Saturday, or look for something more regular if her time permits.

  • She can gain repeat customers: If a homeowner needs help raking this year, he'll probably want help again next year. Your child should be able to maintain a regular set of customers after one season.

  • It's generally safe: Yard work will generally be safer than a lawn mowing job. Your child will be much safer if he's wielding a rake or a shovel rather than operating machinery. 

    The Drawbacks

    • The workflow may be inconsistent: Depending on the needs of your neighbors, there may not be enough work to keep your child as busy as she wants to be. She may need to explore other jobs for kids to complement her yard work.

    • It's limited by seasons: Your child will only be able to rake leaves in the fall, so she'll have to vary her services depending on the season if she wants to stay busy year 'round. Raking in the fall, shoveling in the winter, and planting flowers in the spring can be some options for her.

    • It's often variable pay: Yard work probably won't pay as well as other options. He'll have to charge less for raking, but he can probably charge more for snow shoveling. The rates will vary by location, too. Have her ask around to see if she can find out what others are charging, or do it for her. What would a professional charge? Now slash the price. 

    • Weather is a factor: Your child's ability to work will be based on the weather. It will be hard to rake when it's raining. Help her come up with a backup plan for each day that she is scheduled to work and can't. 

    What Kids Learn About Money and Business

    Advertising: She can begin by posting fliers and offering services to friends and neighbors. Help her learn the art of referrals by giving satisfied customers a card with her information to help spread the word.

    Negotiation: He'll have to learn how to negotiate a fair price with homeowners if they ask or balk at paying the price he's asking.