Use this activity to help preteens understand the difference between positive and negative peer pressure.
Form a circle with one preteen standing in the middle. Have others in the circle say words that represent negative peer pressure, such as bullying, alcohol, or lying. Each time someone calls out a word, have everyone in the circle put pressure on the preteen in the middle by taking a step closer to him or her.
To release the pressure, the preteen must shout back words that represent positive peer pressure, such as kindness, compassion, or friendliness. When the preteen shouts a word, everyone in the circle must take a step back. Let kids take turns experiencing being in the middle of the pressure circle.
Discuss how it felt to be pressured and what it’s like to experience different kinds of pressure from friends at school. Read aloud Matthew 5:14-16. Tell preteens God is always with them and wants them to be a source of positive peer pressure in their schools.