As our Playhouses grow, so do our program offerings. Each GiGi’s Playhouse is unique and offers a variety of educational and therapeutic programs to meet the needs of their families and their community. Program information is broken down by specific age groups:
Programs for All Ages
Daddy & Me – Fathers, grandfathers and other male role models are invited to play, network and connect with one another in a fun and active program for children of all ages. Bring all the kids and give mom the morning off!
Family Night – Bring the whole family out for a night of fun! Family Night is the perfect opportunity to wrap up your day and get to know other families at GiGi’s Playhouse. We will eat dinner, play games and create a craft, then finish up with a story for everyone! Join in the fun and make this a night to remember!
Multicultural Playgroup – This program provides support, friendship, networking and socialization for bilingual families. Open to families with children of all ages.
Nuestros Angeles (Hispanic Playgroup) – This program provides support, friendship, networking and socialization for Spanish-speaking families. Open to families with children of all ages.
Open Play – This program invites families and their friends to the Playhouse for playtime! Open Play helps promote positive beginnings for new families with a child with Down syndrome, creates awareness opportunities for peers and friends, as well as support and networking for current families. Come ready for fun and a crazy good time! Open to families with children of all ages and their friends.
Programs for Early Learners
2 & Under (Busy Bodies) – Join our playgroup! We’re moving, grooving and laughing along the way. Busy Bodies is the perfect place for children two and under to meet new friends, learn and grow, while parents have the opportunity to socialize and network with one another. Siblings are welcome!
Crawlers Program (Little Milestones) – This program will guide parents in facilitating and helping their child strengthen gross motor skills. Activities are geared specifically for children who are working toward achieving the developmental stage of crawling. Little Milestones is primarily a gross motor group, but we will also incorporate fine motor, sensory awareness, social interaction, and language skills.
Hop, Skip & Jumpers – This program will help promote social, emotional and gross motor development through a variety of activities, including interactive play, sharing, cooperative games and physical activity. Creativity and movement will be incorporated throughout the program. Recommended for children ages 3-5 years old.
LMNOP (Language, Music N’ Our Peeps) – Language, Music N’ Our Peeps (LMNOP) guides parents and infants through learning basic sign language and through incorporating music and dance therapy into daily activities, to stimulate the child. Recommended for children 6-36 months old.
New Parents Group – Come and find an outlet for the everyday parenting challenges, receive support in coping with a diagnosis, establish connections within GiGi’s Playhouse and the community, as well as learn the philosophy of GiGi’s Playhouse and engage in programming. This program provides support and networking for new and current families.
Preschool Prep – Preschool Prep will help prepare young children for preschool and re-enforce home therapy tasks. Activities are presented in a structured environment, and include practicing the basic skills of following one and two step directions, managing transitions between centers, participation in group activities. Behavior management strategies will also be incorporated to promote success. The program is focused on the learning needs of children ages 24-48 months of age. All children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian, as a primary support throughout the class. Activities for siblings are available in another room during the program. Advanced Registration is required; class size is limited to 5 participants.
Special Olympics Young Athletes™ – Young Athletes™ is a unique sport and play program for children with intellectual disabilities. The focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth. Children ages 2½ to 7 enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Young Athletes is an early introduction to sports and to the world of Special Olympics. This group must be approved by the Special Olympics Young Athletes program in order to host the program. You may contact your regional Special Olympics representative to gain approval for this group.
Walkers Program (Big Steps to High Expectations) – This program will guide parents in facilitating and helping their child strengthen gross motor skills. Activities are focused for children who are working toward achieving the developmental milestone of walking. Big Steps is primarily a gross motor group, but will also incorporate fine motor, sensory awareness, social interaction and language skills.
Programs for School-Age Children and Teens
Art Explosion – Art Explosion provides a hands on experience with multiple art media and provides an outlet for individuals with Down syndrome to express themself, build confidence and socialize with peers. Recommended for children ages 9 and up.
Busy Hands, Bigger Plans – This program promotes the development of existing handwriting skills. While this program is primarily a handwriting group, we also work on fine motor, sensory awareness, social interaction, and language skill development. For less experienced writers, check out Little Fingers, Big Plans.
Cheer Gems – Cheer Gems is an active, energetic group focused on positivity, recognition and spirit. Cheer Gems provides a springboard of confidence, gives children the opportunity to compete on a cheer squad and have a shared experience with their typical peers. Recommended for girls and boys between the ages of 4-16.
Cooking Club – Get cooking with your friends at GiGi’s! This program is geared toward building safety awareness in the kitchen and preparing healthy recipes that taste great. Recommended for youth and teens ages 10 – 18.
Karate Kickers – The benefits of karate for people with Down syndrome are endless. Karate focuses on development of balance, coordination, discipline, focus, attention, physical fitness, and confidence. There will be no physical contact between peers. Recommended for youth with Down syndrome and siblings ages 8 and up.
Kids Clubhouse – This program will help promote friendships, social skills and peer interactions through creative and social activities. Recommended for youth who are 9-12 years old.
Literacy Tutoring – Each individual learns to read and develop literacy skills at a different pace. The GiGi’s Literacy Program builds a foundation in sight word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension and articulation through one-on-one literacy tutoring adapted to fit the learning style of individuals with Down syndrome. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Click here for more information.
Little Fingers, Big Plans – This program promotes the foundations of early handwriting skills for children who are beginning to show an interest in coloring. While this program is primarily a handwriting group, we will also incorporate opportunities for fine motor, sensory awareness, social interaction, and language skill development. More experienced writers, check out Busy Hands, Bigger Plans.
Math Tutoring – Math Tutoring Program is designed to promote a positive experience of learning math and to develop a foundation of basic number understanding. These skills go beyond addition and subtraction and include telling time, fractions, money, and other concepts taught in the classroom. This multisensory program incorporates proven methodology from professionals in the field of special education. Catering to children of all ages and skill levels, the GiGi’s Math curriculum helps students with school preparedness, maintain grade level mathematics, and gain important skills for independence. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Click here for more information.
Playhouse Pals – This program will help promote friendships, social skill development and safety awareness through creative and social activities. Recommended for children 6-8 years old.
Summer Backpack Buddies – Summer Backpack Buddies is a group literacy and math program for all children and teens, at or below a second grade reading level. Each session we will explore two subjects in math or language, where participants have fun while learning! Sign up for a few sessions or the entire program, to maintain essential skills during the summer! Siblings are welcome!
Super Sibs – A special time for siblings of individuals with Down syndrome to talk about the good, and the sometimes not-so-good moments of having a sibling with Down syndrome. Share, play games and enjoy connecting with other ‘siblings’. This program is for youth with a brother or sister with Down syndrome. Recommended for siblings age 6 to 13. Parents are encouraged to meet in another room of the Playhouse during this program.
Teen Drama Troupe – Confidence, communication and cooperation will be practiced through a variety of drama and improvisation techniques and games. We will choose a theatrical production to re-create and learn to express ourselves with physical and vocal freedom. Ages 13 – 17; minimum 5 students to run class. Parents are encouraged to meet in another room of the Playhouse during this program.
Teen Tastic – This group promotes friendships, social interaction and communication through a variety of social activities, outings and games for teens. Recommended for all teens ages 13-17.
Programs for Young Adults and Adults
Friday Friends – A fun night out to facilitate social interactions between adults with Down syndrome, their peers and the community. All adults welcome from ages 18 and up.
GiGi University – “GiGi U” is a progressive learning program for adults, comprised of an 8-week instructional program, followed by an internship with the GiGi’s Playhouse Store, Hugs & Mugs. GiGi U was designed to motivate adults with Down Syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the real world through goal-development and small group skills instruction, physical fitness and exceptional work opportunities. The ideal candidate will be highly goal-oriented and motivated to achieve a new level of personal success. Recommended for adults age 22 and up. Click here for more information.
S.M.A.R.T. – This program provides a social outlet for participants to meet new friends, learn new skills and most of all, for this group of adults to have loads of fun! The program has a rotating theme each week, including game night, life skills workshop, community outing and new skill development. Recommended for adults ages 18 and up.