Monday, August 4, 2014

31 Days of Fun: Day 4 -- Whittling Almonds*


Cathy (13), of course.  The Almond Artist.

* Not a pastime advised for small or clumsy fingers....

Here is a safer project, though, for the 7-and-older crowd:

Soap Carving
Safer and it smells nice, too.

The only supplies needed are:

* dollar store soaps
* wooden skewers (because they're thicker and stronger than toothpicks)
* old fashioned butter knives
 -- and/or--
* tongue depressors or popsicle sticks, carefully cut by Mom into points
* an old toothbrush or paintbrush or two for brushing off soap crumbs as you carve

With a little practice, you can produce art like this:

or this:

or even these:

But, if you're like us, yours will look more like this:

Cathy, Theresa, and Gabe, hard at work.
We let the big kids use little paring knives,
but the little guys used butter knives.
Top:  William's turtle
Bottom:  Gabe's fish. (Love how he used the dove for a fin!)

Anna will always be a Colorado girl at heart!

Tolkien fans will know immediately what
 Theresa carved on her soap.
Here's Cathy's beautiful rose
And here it is after experimenting with blue food coloring.  Cool, huh?
But, we won't be actually using this one now...
This was a good time!  It definitely required focused adult supervision -- and the little guys needed help understanding how to do the actual carving, but they caught on amazingly quickly.  As an added bonus, when we were finished, the dining room smelled wonderfully clean -- and the dining room table got a good soapy scrubbing as part of the bargain.  Nothing went to waste, either. We saved all the soap boxes to store the carvings in to be used in their turn at the bathroom sinks (except for the blue-dyed rose, of course), and we saved all the scraps to make hand soap later.

*  Full soap carving tutorial for kids at The Wonder Years .
* Save your soap shavings and make liquid soap when you're finished - as you'll have tons of scraps and it's super easy to do!  Find a good link with tutorials here.

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