Mini Monets and Mommies: Negative Space Art: Kids' Leaf Paint Activity

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Negative Space Art: Kids' Leaf Paint Activity

Combining early childhood art and science has been on my mind a lot lately. What better way to get hands-on and explore concept such as nature or physical properties than with an imaginative art activity? Recently, I posted on DIY glow in the dark ice (it’s super-cool – literally – and the kids have a blast trying to figure out what makes it seem to magically light up) and frozen color mixing. I’ve been somewhat hung up on liquid to solid to liquid transformations, so I’m switching it up and focusing on nature.

Science craft
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Not only does this art activity add in a touch of science, but it offers an opportunity for your child to explore the concept of negative space! Negative space is the area around an object. Yes, this is a terribly complex concept for the young child to easily grasp. But, this project will give her a concrete comparison that takes an out-there idea and makes it understandable.

So, let’s get on with the art-making process--

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        A leaf (or your child can try another flat object)

·        School glue

·        Tempera paint

·        A paint roller or brush

·        Paper

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Place the leaf on a piece of paper. Your child can also use a cut out shape (cut a piece of card stock or an index card) or a similar type of flat object.
Nature craft

2.     Squeeze a few dabs of tempera paint around the leaf. Use a few different colors, putting them in different areas. This gives your child the chance to mix colors.
Kids' colorful art

3.     Paint the entire piece of paper. Help your child to hold down the leaf, making it completely flat. She can roll or brush the paint, blending and mixing the colors, across the paper and over the leaf.
Plant art activity for kids
Paint with colors

4.     Peel the leaf off to reveal the negative space (the area is blank paper color, while the rest is paint-covered).
Childrens science art

5.     Glue the painted leaf onto another piece of paper.
Plant art activity

6.     Put the two papers side by side to compare the negative and positive spaces.
Crafts for kids

Display the two pieces of your child’s artwork next to each other or glue them onto a larger piece of poster board next to each other.

Are you looking for more creative arts and crafts for your child to try? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas! And, don't forget to sign up for the Mini Monets and Mommies email list to get my posts directly in your inbox!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.


  1. That's a nice simple explanation - and it's pretty, too!

  2. Love it! They look so much fun and the finished products look so great :) x #tuesdaytutorials

  3. Great idea and it looks fab too! Thanks for linking up with Tuesday Tutorials #pintorials

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