My daughter was given a set of wood carving tools last weekend for her tenth birthday. She was super eager to try them out after recently seeing some older neighbourhood kids carving sticks. After whittling for a few minutes we quickly found out it's a little harder then it looks.
We had made pantry soap over the summer and I remembered thinking it would be perfect for carving. A bar of store soap would work as well.
The soap was cut into manageable blocks. We used cotton swabs dipped in warm water to correct gouges and toothpicks were nearby to engrave designs. We never got that far because we were having too much fun with the shaping stage and ran out of time. The shavings were all saved in a container to be reshaped into soap bracelets.
Emily practising her grooves with the different tips of the carving tools. Younger kids under 8 years could do this craft too with toothbrushes, vegetable peeler's or plastic pumpkin carving tools and a little help and supervision from a parent.
I found some free patterns compliments of Grandma Ideas to use another time. And a good tutorial on how to carve a whale by Ivory Soap. When we were finished we had a heart soap, a tulip, and an Inukshuk (looks more like a gingerbread boy) and very clean hands!
The soaps will dry for a day or two and then be polished gently with a paper towel. We may try painting the soap's batik style but for now the kids are having fun washing their hands with it.
Last week my youngest was having a bit of a trouble solving a problem with one of her best friends. In the morning her friend knocked on our door and gave her the cutest "I'm sorry" I have ever seen...a piece of ivory soap carved into the shape of a heart with inscription.
The back of the soap is engraved with "I'm Sorry".
The front has "To Claire" and the child's name.
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