Kid-Friendly Easy Succulent Gardening Enrichment Activity

Succulents make wonderful plants for kids to observe and care for. They are fascinating plants with unique shapes, textures, and colors that spark kids’ interest in nature. With your guidance, kids can keep a succulent garden thriving.

Instilling a love for succulents in my kids kid
They instinctively know to pose in front of succulents when they’re with me since I’m going to ask them to do it anyways. We recently had a little staycation in San Diego, so naturally, I was excited to hunt for pretty succulents while exploring. This is in front of the Town and Country Resort Hotel Convention Center. The whole place has a very mid-century modern vibe which I love.

Benefits of Growing Succulents for Kids

Growing succulents is a great activity for kids. Here are some of the benefits:

Learning Responsibility

Caring for a living thing like a succulent can teach kids responsibility. They learn that their actions directly impact the health and well-being of the plant, and they must take responsibility for its care.

Town and country hotel in san diego kid
Another gorgeous greenery display against the contrasting wall.

Understanding Nature

Succulents are fascinating plants with unique shapes, textures, and colors that spark kid’s interest in nature. By observing and studying succulents, kids can learn about photosynthesis, the water cycle, and the life cycle of plants.

Closeup of agave attenuata ray of light leaf kid
I love me some close-ups of the details.

Boosting Creativity

Growing succulents can help kids develop their creativity. They can design their own pots or planters, create terrariums, or arrange their plants in interesting ways. The possibilities are endless!

Town and country hotel convention center in san diego kid
Yet another magnificent display at the Town and Country.

Improving Fine Motor Skills

Gardening requires fine motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, gripping, and grasping. Kids can improve these skills by planting, watering, and caring for their succulents.

Variegated agave attenuata ray of light kid
This reminded me that I have about 6 Agave attenuata ‘Ray of LIght’ that I need to relocate.

Developing Patience

Growing succulents teaches kids about the importance of patience. They must wait for the plant to grow and mature, and they must learn to be patient and not rush the process.

Vertical garden of dudleya at the san diego zoo kid
During our staycation we visited the San Diego Zoo and found this wall of Dudleya near the entrance to the hummingbird exhibit. Just gorgeous!

Enhancing Well-Being

There are many studies that suggest spending time in nature has positive effects on mental health and well-being. Growing succulents can be a relaxing and calming activity that helps kids unwind and reduce stress.

Tiny aloe at the san diego zoo kid
Tiny, delicate aloe in the Africa Rocks section of the San Diego Zoo.

Promoting Sustainability

By teaching kids about the importance of caring for plants and the environment, we can instill values of sustainability and eco-consciousness in them.

Overall, growing succulents can be a fun and educational activity that promotes responsibility, creativity, and well-being in kids.

Gardening with kids helps improve their fine motor skills kid
They love taking care of the pots they’ve designed. We’re still working on reigning in the urge to water them every day.

Gardening with mommy is one of my kids favorite activities and I can’t say that I hate having a mini assistant either! They love getting their hands dirty and picking pretty succulents to take cuttings from to create their own arrangements. Shopping for succulents is also super fun for all of us now that they’re older. They sure do love being able to pick out their own succulents.

Gardening with kids helps them understand and connect with nature kid
My kids love picking their own cuttings to turn into arrangements.

Step by Step Guide

Here is a step by step guide for kids to plant their first succulent:

  1. Choose a succulent. Go to a garden center or nursery and pick out a succulent that you like! Some easy choices for beginners include Haworthia, Gasteria, Jade Plant or Aloe. Ask an adult for help in choosing a plant that will thrive indoors.
  2. Get a pot. You’ll need a container to plant your succulent in. Aim for a pot that is at least 4 inches wide and deep for one succulent plant. Look for a pot with drainage holes on the bottom so excess water can drain out.
  3. Mix some potting mix. A well-draining potting mix for succulents contains ingredients like perlite, vermiculite or grit to help the soil stay loose and dry. Add 2 parts potting mix to 1 part perlite or vermiculite.
  4. Plant your succulent. Carefully take your succulent out of its plastic pot. Place it in the new pot and fill in around the sides of the plant with the potting mix. Push the mix gently around the roots, making sure all roots are covered.
  5. Water lightly. Give your succulent a small amount of water, about 1/2 cup for a 6-inch pot. Pour the water slowly around the base of the plant. Do not saturate the soil.
  6. Place in a bright spot. Succulents need lots of light to thrive. Place your plant on a sunny window sill, patio or deck. Make sure it gets lots of indirect sunlight throughout the day.
  7. Allow soil to dry out. Wait at least 1-2 weeks between waterings. The top inch or so of soil should be dry before watering again. Put your finger in the soil to check. This will help prevent root rot.
  8. Fertilize lightly (optional). During the growing season, you can apply a fertilizer formulated for succulents once during spring and summer. Dilute it to 1/2 the recommended strength. Skip fertilizer in winter.
  9. Enjoy your succulent! Place your succulent in an area where you will enjoy seeing it regularly. Succulents are fascinating to observe as they grow new leaves and develop pups. Check them daily and watch for any signs of too much or too little water. 

Cultivating a Love for Succulents in Kids

Succulents make the perfect plants for kids to nurture. With some patience and the proper care, children of any age can develop a green thumb and lifelong love of gardening.

Before they know it, their succulent will produce offsets, or pups, sprouting all over the pot! As we know, these pups can be removed and planted in their own pots to start a whole succulent garden.

Succulent planted wheelbarrow at waterwise botanicals kid
The girls actually asked ME if they could go look at plants, so we made a pit stop at Waterwise Botanicals in Bonsall, CA. I love their creative displays.

Perhaps the kids will discover a new favorite succulent. Maybe it’s an Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’ with rosy pink leaves or a Sedum morganianum ‘Burro’s Tail’ with long stems. The possibilities are endless.

When kids form a bond with nature through gardening it builds memories that will last a lifetime. Pretty soon, they’ll be an expert at identifying different succulents and their characteristics.

Succulents bring beauty and joy, and they are endlessly fascinating subjects for observation and study. Nurturing them from seedling to mature plant gives a wonderful sense of purpose and responsibility.

Succulent planted bathtub at waterwise botanicals kid
Another one from Waterwise. It is just so lush and full!

Encourage your older kids to keep a notebook to record the growth and changes they notice over weeks and months. Take photographs too—comparing images side by side shows how much the succulents thrive under their care.

A kid’s first succulent garden is sure to spark a passion for horticulture and exploring the green world around us. Now get planting and grow on! Adventure awaits in your garden.