Kids will use plastic knives for this introductory carving project. The canoe shape is familiar and simple, yet satisfying, and materials for retries are cheap and readily available.
Step 1: Select Your Soap
Soaps from the Dollar store will often be dried out and brittle and discouraging for younger learners.
I like to buy a multipack so I know it's double sealed: individually wrapped bars, in a larger wrapper.
If the soaps are very fresh, you might want to unwrap them the night before the craft so they can dry out just a bit.
Step 2: Prepare Your Knives
I like to run them quickly through the bench wheel grinder to remove the serrated edge, then clean up the melted plastic with a sharp knife.
You can get the same effect with more work and time with sandpaper. The goal is a smooth sharp non-serrated edge.
Don't worry, these are still sharp enough to cut soap. They can be sharp enough to cut the kids too, so a quick lesson on knife handling and safety is in order first.
Step 3: Draw Your Template
I drew a simple canoe two ways, one making the canoe wide, and one tall. The tall canoe is easier for younger carvers: grades 1-3.
Be sure to do a vertical and horizontal outline, and make sure your dimensions match up for each.