Butterflies- 3 Stages of Growth

Learning about the 3 Stages of Growth through the life cycle of a butterfly! Just like everything grows through stages- so do we physically & internally!

Lesson in Progress!


Educational Framework: Heart for God

“Butterflies- 3 Stages of Growth” Unit: Spring into Growth

LESSON PURPOSE: Let’s learn about the 3 stages of growth through the lifecycle of a butterfly!

MATERIALS: Picture Book, learning toys, craft supplies

BOOKS: He’s Got the Whole World, Song of the Spring Breeze

SONG IDEAS: The Hungry Caterpillar or other book about Butterflies

SENSORY CENTERS: As children arrive

  • Playfood: Pretend picnic and play with the food found in the Hungry Caterpillar story.

  • Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Bin: Beans for dirt, play food & a toy caterpillar!

  • Butterfly Cycle Sensory Bin: Use uncooked rotini pasta to represent the caterpillar, pasta shells to represent the chrysalis and Use farfalle bowtie pasta to represent the butterfly.

  • Color sorting: Make a caterpillar with different colored cups. Have children sort fruit loops or colorful pom poms in to the right color cup or bucket. Or beads on to different colored playdoh balls that make up a caterpillar together.

SCRIPTURE: Display the weekly scripture reading, have an older child read it or use it in the lesson as you like.

“According to the Divine Principle, everything goes through three stages of growth-formation, growth, and completion... In nature, we see the mineral world, the plant world and the animal world. There are three parts to your fingers; and your arms also have three portions. The same is true of your body.” -True Father

INTRODUCE the Lesson:


SONG IDEAS: He’s Got the Whole World, Song of the Spring Breeze


Last week we celebrated Easter Sunday together and the beauty of Spring time & new life. (We also learned about Resurrection through the comparison of a butterfly. Today we will use butterflies again to learn a different concept.) Did you know that everything in God’s Creation grows? What are some things that grow? (plants, flowers, trees, animals.) We also grow! Today we will learn about the 3 Stages of Growth that all things in Creation go through!


  • Measuring: Using a measuring tape- take turns measuring each child’s height! Talk about how we all grow! You can show a baby onesie and show how much big you’ve already grown! God our Heavenly Parent wants us all to grow in to beautiful sons and daughters of God with a big heart. Today we will learn about growth through looking at a caterpillar!


The caterpillar can teach us a lot about 3 stages of growth! Let’s read (or tell a story) about the life of a caterpillar!

CHOOSE 1 OR 2: READ A STORY, SING A SONG OR POEM, WATCH A VIDEO: *Use this before OR with your teaching point.

*TEACH the Lesson:

Discuss the following points together, asking children questions, drawing pictures, using anchor charts or post it notes.

TEACHING POINT 1: 3 Stages of a Butterfly

Discuss together about the 3 stages of a butterfly using pictures or props. (Note- there is also a “pre-stage” of the egg before a caterpillar is born- this is like when we are a baby growing inside our Mother’s belly.)

  • Formation- Caterpillar (A caterpillars main job is to eat a lot & grow!)

  • Growth- Chrysalis (The caterpillar sheds its old skin, hangs upside down on a twig and builds a little house to transform inside. Here it waits patiently.)

  • Completion- Butterfly! (The caterpillar grows wings and transforms into a butterfly!)

Optional: How does this apply to us physically?

  • Formation- Baby —> Childhood (We start as a small baby and grow into a toddler, preschooler, big kid… We eat a lot, exercise, sleep and grow big and strong and learn to do new things!)

  • Growth- Adolescence (When we become a teenager our body starts to transform itself to prepare to be an adult.)

  • Completion- Grown Up (Our body is down growing and we’re now an adult!)


Discuss how the 3 stages of growth can be applied in our own lives internally. Think of different examples or skills the children would like to learn.

  • Formation: Learning something new. (crawling/t-ball/ballet class/learning letters)

  • Growth: Practicing it. (standing up/coach pitch/learning & practicing a dance/ learning to read)

  • Completion: Mastering a skill. (running/players doing everything/recital performance/ reading the Bible or DP)


God created the 3 Stages of Growth. Sometimes we want to be able to do everything a big brother or sister or maybe even a grown up can do! Like driving a car for example! But our Heavenly Parent wants us to grow in stages. We will all learn different skills like swimming or tying a shoe in our own timing. We also grow taller or loose a tooth in our own timing. Our bodies grow and our hearts and Spirit develops. Just like caterpillars grow into beautiful butterflies. We are each growing into beautiful sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Parent!


Dear Heavenly Parent, thank you for teaching us about the 3 stages of growth through beautiful butterflies! We love watching all of your creation grow so beautifully in Springtime! Please help us to be patient as we grow and learn new things. We want to grow into awesome kids that love you and love others. Amen. Aju!

APPLY the Lesson:


  • Caterpillar Yoga: curl up like an egg, crawl like a caterpillar, be as still as a chrysalis, fly like a butterfly. (Can also do acting, charades or dancing)

  • Caterpillar Playdoh: Children can make caterpillars and add wings to make butterflies.

  • Retelling Hungry Caterpillar: Have children put the foods from the story in to the right order.

  • Pair share: share about something new you want to learn to do!

CRAFTS: choose 1

  • Sponge Butterfly Printing: Place a rubber band around the middle of a sponge so it looks like a butterfly, let children design paint on the sponge and press it on to their paper.

  • Symmetrical Drip: Fold paper in half. Have children (or teachers can) drip paint colors in a “V” shape across one side of the paper. (Point of the “V” facing in to the middle of the crease). Fold the paper in half & have children “wax on, wax off” wipe with their hands in circles. Open the paper to reveal a colorful butterfly!

  • Water balloon Painting: place a water balloon in mostly green paint with a few drops of yellow paint added. Have children make balloon stamps to form a caterpillar! Use red for the hungry caterpillar’s head!

  • Additional Craft ideas!


  • Grape Kabobs: Make a grape kabob with green grapes & 1 red grape at the top to represent the Hungry Caterpillar.

  • 3 Stages snack: candy worms= caterpillar, grapes= chrysalis, butterfly crackers= butterfly.

  • Snack bag: Place snacks in a sandwich bag, seal, place a laundry clip in the middle of the bag to make it look like a butterfly!

Enjoy the lesson! Feel free to submit photos to lgavin@unification.org Love seeing lessons come to life and each community

HOME CONNECTION- coming soon!