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Peer Pressure: Grades 1 and 2

Julie Shaffer and Heather Ward

Help kids stand up to their friends' negative influences and resist peer pressure.

1. Opener-With two balls of clay, have two children each form a pot. Assign the following words to four different volunteers: cheating, lying, arguing and complaining. Have your volunteers each come forward, tell their word and poke only one of the pots. Ask: "Which pot looks better? Which pot is shaped the way it was meant to be? Explain."

2. The Potter and the Clay-Say: "The Bible says God is the potter and we are the clay."

Hold up a poster with Isaiah 64:8 written on it. Read aloud the verse, and have the class repeat it after you. Then ask: "What does this verse mean?"

Say: "If we allow others to mold us instead of letting God mold us, we may end up looking like this pot. (Hold up the poked pot.) We won't become who God wants us to be. The Bible warns us to stay away from doing wrong things. Friends sometimes want you to do wrong things such as disobeying your parents or cheating. You can learn to say no, so you can do what's right."

Give children each a piece of clay and let them form their own creation. Remind them as they're working that, as the creator, they can make the clay into something they like, just as God makes us into something he likes. Afterward, have kids wash their hands.

3. Human Sculpture-Form groups of no more than five. Ask for a volunteer in each group to sit on the floor. Have group members in that group "sculpt" the person into a position that shows something Christians do. For example, kids may sculpt a child praying or reading a Bible.

After kids are finished, have them reveal their human sculpture. Tell the sculpture to remain in position.

Then have the other group's members tell wrong things that friends can pressure kids to do. As they say each thing, have group members move the child's body parts into other positions.

Say: "Each of you is God's beautiful sculpture, but choosing to do the wrong thing can change that sculpture. People who pressure you to choose wrong things are helping you ruin God's beautiful work in your life. You can cooperate with God by choosing the right things."

Have the human sculpture yell "no" and return to his or her original sculpted position.

4. Made to Order-Give kids edible "play" dough (mix 1 cup of powdered milk, 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 cups of peanut butter) and napkins. Have children shape their dough into the word "no." As kids eat their words, remind them that God has given them the power to say no to friends who pressure them to do wrong things. Close in prayer.

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