Carving for little boys (age 7)

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  • amandajhilburn

    My son just read Daniel’s Duck by Bulla and is asking to carve something out of wood…..I am not so sure that he is ready for wood and a knife. Is there some other way for him to do this without the danger of using a sharp knife? I have heard of soap carving, I think……but am clueless how to help him with these things. Any ideas would be helpful.



    Hi Amanda,

    My ds was inspired to carve after he read Daniels Duck too. Smile I got a couple soap carving books from the library for him, bought a bunch of Ivory (it seems to work the best) and gave him a few tools – small files from a manicure kit I had worked wonders. He had a blast carving many things. He gave them as gifts and used them at the sink & in the shower.

    Bless you & yours! ~ Heather


    In our house at 6 yrs you get the gift of a pocket knife.  My dh picked one out that we just buy for each that has all the safety features he wanted.  So I think he is plenty old to do something like that.  And a bar of soap seems like a great place to start.  Otherwise craft stores usually have soft wood you can work with.  Good luck and just think of the imagination he will be thinking of.  MIsty

    Sonya Shafer

    I remember reading that one of the handicrafts Charlotte did in her schools was carving in cork. I wonder if that might be an option.


    OH MY!!! You guys are the best. I never thought of carving soap. I may go out today and buy some Ivory. My sons would LOVE that. Thank you for bringing up this question and for the responses.



    I believe that in the US, in Wolf Cubs (or Bear Cubs?) in the States they do Knife Safety and soap carving – that would be about age 7 or 8…  

    In Canada, Cubs do Knife Safety – cubs are from ages 8 to 10.

    My Girl guides would learn knife Safety and take pocket knives to camp, and use them to make “camp Gadgets” – that was ages 9-11.

    With a few simple safety instructions, and a bit of observation he should probably be fine.



    Another fun project is print making (or stamp making). You can carve linoleum block or a softer material (that I can’t remember the name of). It’s not too expensive to buy the supplies – you’ll need the carving tools, a block or two of material, some ink, and a roller to spread the ink. My son loves carving the blocks. You’ll find the supplies in an art supply store – just ask for the printmaking supplies.

    Or…carve a potato and make prints! 🙂


    We did some soap carvings this year and my boys loved it!  I should bring it back out again.


    Thank you all for these ideas. I bought some Ivory soap yesterday and some cheap aluminum cake pans to put on the table to catch the shavings.They just used a spoon, a wooden skewer, and a butter knife to carve with. Both my children carved 2 pieces each last night and had a blast. I am sure this will be a new hobby that we will continue.



    Misty–could you please give us your recommendation of a pocket knife? My son is 6 1/2. He’s been carving soap and very soft wood (and crayons, what a mess!) using my late father’s antique carving set. Many band-aids around here, ha.

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