Caterpillar to Butterfly Relays
New Life In Christ



$3.00 is the suggested donation for use of this game or become a yearly Support Partner!

Set up: Each player will need one potato sack or a heavy duty plastic garbage bag. Divide players into 4-6 players per team. Teams line up at a starting point on one side of your playing area. To begin, have players stand inside their bags. 

Before playing, tell players they are pretending to be caterpillars in their cocoons. When the cocoon is removed, they become new creatures, "butterflies." 


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How to play: At the go, the first players from each team must hop while in their bags to the opposite end of the playing area, take off their bags, place them on the ground, and fly back to their team lines, "flapping their wings," to tag off to the next players in line. The next players in line take their turn playing as before. Returning players must go to the end of their lines to sit down. Play continues like this until all the players have had their turn.

How to win: The first team to have all their players hop to the opposite end of the field, run back to their team line, and be sitting down, is the winning team! (If there is an uneven number of players on teams, players can go more than once to even it up.)


After the game discussion: 

A caterpillar has a happy life of eating leaves and doing things caterpillars love to do. I wonder if a caterpillar ever knows that it must leave its world of being a caterpillar in order to become a beautiful butterfly?  It must die to being a caterpillar, in order to become a butterfly. There's a spiritual truth for us in the life of a caterpillar. The Bible says, "...if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17) This means that when we become a Christian, we die to our old self  and are changed into a new creature. 

What do you think it means to die to our old self? (Allow for discussion. -- i.e. changing the way we think, and behave.)  Lead children to understand that dying to our old self begins by believing that we are sinners, that is we do wrong things that are opposed to God's way of behaving; we cannot save ourselves, or be good enough to live with God in Heaven.  Jesus died to take the punishment we deserve for doing wrong things. In return, he gives us his perfectly lived life so we can live with God for eternity.

Similarly, like a caterpillar that sheds its cocoon to become a butterfly, when we believe that Jesus died in our place and took our punishment, we are changed into a new creature: a Christian, or a follower of Jesus.  But dying to our old self is also a life-long process of becoming more and more like Jesus. As we read the Bible and pray to God, the Holy Spirit helps us change our thinking and the way we act, so we can become more like Jesus. Then, like a caterpillar that sheds its cocoon, when we die we shed our old bodies and go to live with God for all of eternity!

Pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for us and forgiving us of our sins. Thank you for making us into new creatures when we believe and follow you. Help us to be changed to become more and more like you. Amen.

Copyright 2002 Sarah A. Keith

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