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What popularity and balloons have in common - you might be surprised

Children follow the “example” of popular peers because they see how others are attracted to them.

This indirect form of peer pressure is called “example” or “conformity.” It’s the powerful force behind fashion and trends. The following activity is a fun way to show children the invisible power of peer pressure through static electricity.


  • 3 balloons

  • 2 chairs

  • A long stick or ruler

  • 2 pieces of string

  1. Blow up all 4 balloons. Set two of them to one side.

  2. Tie a 2-foot piece of string around the end of two of them.

  3. Place two chairs back-to-back about three feet apart and place the yard stick across the chair backs.

  4. Tie balloon strings to the yardstick about 2 inches apart so they hang about 6 inches below it.

  5. Hold one of the extra balloons near the hanging balloons. There should be no reaction.

  6. Rub the extra balloon in your hair then hold it next to the hanging balloons. They should be drawn to it.

The balloons are attracted to the energy that was charged by rubbing the balloon through your hair. No energy, no attraction. Peer pressure acts in a similar way when we gravitate toward it.

Together, we can do this,



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