In the past I have stated that starting young kids to carve soap, should involve a real knife with the blade dulled to eliminate injuries. Most instruction states that this young beginner should use a sharpened Popsicle stick, a plastic knife, or a carved wood knife for the soap carving. My reasoning was that a dulled paring knife was still a real knife, not a stick. And who wants to carve with a stick?
Well after giving my idea a try, I was wrong! I have found out that it becomes nearly impossible for a young kid to take off small slivers of soap with a dulled knife blade.
I think that when you put that knife into their hands, it's the first time that they have done anything with a knife, and it's Katie bar the door. A bar of soap is reduced to chunks with little regard to the instruction "take small slivers off".
Thus, there is a reason for the wood or plastic knife.
In fact I am making some for the kids to use with the soap carving. Lets hope I can get the real knifes from them.