Often children have experienced the passing away of a relative, and they become aware that death is part of life as early as age five. Therefore we should be there for them to help them process the concept of death the way that God would like. This spring object lesson in caterpillars becoming butterflies should help kids understand how death is not scary, but rather, it’s a chance to become something bigger, more beautiful, and a lot more free.
April Showers & Spring Flowers Spring Object Lesson: Caty Caterpillar Becomes a Butterfly
Note: This spring object lesson doubles as a fun craft. If you want to use it as such, multiply the materials in the list below to fit the number of children. The preparation you use will be the instructions for them.
– Pinch-type clothes-pin
– Medium-size pom-poms, multi-colored
– Elmer’s glue
– Green pipe cleaner, 3″ long
– Paper towels, 2 (white)
– Paper clip
1. Glue 3 pom-poms onto one side of the clothes-pin.
2. Twist a 3-inch piece of pipe cleaner around the top to form the butterfly’s antennae and glue it down. Allow time to dry!
3. Separate two soft white paper towels from your roll.
4. Leave one opened. Take one and create an accordion of it for now. Hold it together with a paper clip.
Put the clothes pin caterpillar on the table in front of the children. Inch her along occasionally as you talk.
This is Caty Caterpillar. She has enjoyed a long and happy life. One day when she was a little girl, her mom told her, “Caty, someday we will all die. It looks scary because it appears that we fall asleep and don’t wake up…we just sleep forever. But! One time, a Great Caterpillar came to earth. He told everyone that in death, we don’t sleep for long. He says we wake up and we become bigger and stronger than we could possibly imagine. I think that sounds cool!”
Caty wasn’t sure. She tried to imagine in her mind what the Great Caterpillar might have been talking about. Did he mean that they turn into GIANT CATERPILLARS? Did he mean that they could inch along a whole lot faster??? Make Caty zoom across the table.
She felt it was something like that, and her whole life, she set out to believe the Great Caterpillar and hope that he was right.
But Caty got old. It came time for her to die. “Gee, I am scared,” she thought. “I don’t know about this death thing. It looks to me like all caterpillars get wrapped up in big cocoons, and that’s where their life ends.”
But Caty’s great day came. She fell sound asleep. She got wrapped in a big cocoon. Take out your flat paper towel. Wrap Caty up in it. And there she laid. Make the silence and long pause very dramatic.
All the other caterpillars went back to being caterpillars, and she was left alone. It seemed like a long time, but Caty didn’t know. She was just….like we are when we are sound asleep and don’t know what’s going on.
But suddenly…one day, things started to move. Open the cocoon. The Great Caterpillar came down beside Caty. Clip the accordionized paper towel in the mouth of the clothes pin. He gave her her heavenly body.
“Caty!” he said joyously. “It’s time to wake up!”
Caty looked around. “What happened?” she asked. “Did I fall asleep? I feel like I’ve been asleep for a long time…but I’m a very tired and old caterpillar. I get tired easily.”
“Not anymore, you’re not,” the Great Caterpillar said. “Now you’re like your mom. And your grandmom. And all the caterpillars that you loved and missed. Get up, Caty! Fly free and see all your old friends!”
Zip Caty the Butterfly around in the air in front of you going, “Weeeeee! This is fun!” “Hi, Mom! You look beautiful!” “Hi, Dad! You too!” “Grandma! Grandpa! Come on, fly with me!!”
Back when she was a caterpillar, Caty couldn’t understand what her heavenly body would be like. She had thought of crawling faster or being a bigger caterpillar. She could not understand a butterfly! She would never have dreamed of….flying!
Make Caty fly low.
She could see all the other caterpillars. They couldn’t see her, because they didn’t have the right type of eyes…they could only see straight ahead as they crawled along. Caty couldn’t wait for them to turn into butterflies. She was thankful to the Great Caterpillar, actually the Great Butterfly. The Great Butterfly had become a Great Caterpillar, so that he could be seen by all the other caterpillars and hear about the greatness of heaven. Caty was so glad she had believed him.
Caty was a little like we are. We are like caterpillars right now. Someday we’ll grow old, and it will look like we’re going to sleep forever. But our Great Caterpillar was Jesus. He became a man so that we could hear Him and hear the great news about God’s love and heaven. Someday we will be like butterflies. It’s something we don’t understand now, just like Caty didn’t understand.
Once we believe Jesus’ message of hope in heaven and God’s love for us, we can look forward to becoming greater than we can imagine. We’ll look forward to seeing our loved ones again…and of soaring through the heavens with Jesus.
Have everyone make caterpillars and turn them into butterflies. They can make Caty’s mom and dad and grandparents if they wish!
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