Soap Carving and Other Ideas for Older Boys

Now that Aidan is getting older (8, turning 9 this summer), he is ready to have more “older boy” things to do.   Here are some things that we have found that he enjoys:

Legos: Legos are a favorite at our house, especially Star Wars ones!  We found that purchasing some extra base plates made our Legos more fun.  The boys have been building elaborate forts that keep them busy for hours!

Carving bars of soap: We have been studying American history this year, and Aidan was thrilled when I told him that he could learn to carve the way early Americans did.  I gave him a small pocketknife, a bar of soap, a stern safety lecture, and let him have at it!  He spent a happy afternoon “carving” on his soap to make a boat.  It was harder than he thought, but he enjoyed it!

Basic Woodworking: Aidan loves to hammer nails and saw on scrap boards.  Last year, he even made a set of blocks for Owen’s 2nd birthday (with some help from Dad!).

Build-Your-Own PVC Pipe Sprinkler: Check out our post from last year on how to build a PVC pipe sprinkler!

Floor mopping: At this age, kids don’t need endless free time.  It’s good for boys to learn how to work hard.  And who says chores have to be boring?  We mix up a bucket of homemade floor cleaner (I don’t use the borax if the kids are using it themselves) and have Aidan scrub the floor with a rag.  Some music to listen to while mopping makes it more fun!

Other Chores: Aidan also can vacuum the house, vacuum the van, do laundry, and clean the bathroom.  It’s great to have such a good helper!

Another good chore for this age is learning to organize things.  Aidan has a “treasure box” on his dresser that the younger brothers are not allowed to get into.  Being the pack rat that he is, Aidan accumulates a lot of stuff in his treasure box!  When he’s feeling restless and jumping off the sofa, etc., a good project is organizing all those treasures and straightening up the top of his dresser.

How do you occupy your bigger boys?


  1. Linda says

    Sometimes the softer soaps, like Ivory, work better for carving, especially if they are just starting to learn to use a knife.

    Another fun idea for PVC pipe is a marshmallow gun. I did this with 4th grade cub scouts and they loved it.

  2. Lise says

    I love this idea. I have a 10 year old, and I think he would love doing this. My 6 year old would love it too, but too dangerous!

    I do find it a struggle sometimes to entertain the older boy, but I found a great game that he likes. It is called Katamino, and it can occupy him for quite long periods of time. Also, puzzles. Any other ideas would be appreciated!

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