My dh and I made our own all vegetable soap for quite a while. We gave it as gifts with handmade canedles. Everyone loved it. We bought stuff from several online warehouses--essential oils, large buckets of coconut and palm oil, even vegetable coloring. I would definitley say it is a craft (and a chemistry experiment all in one). It is fun (but not for the little kids). You do still use lye, so it can be caustic and dangerous in the wrong hands. If you want to make glycerine soaps, there are kits for kids (I don't think they use lye--I've never made glycerin soap)
making soap and experimenting with different scent combinations.