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. Signature programs follow the same structure and curriculum at each location, providing purposeful progressions by supporting our youngest learners through adulthood. Specialty programs provide for some customization at each location, to foster the ongoing development of new programs, serve specialized local needs and tap into local talents.
best of all
Best of All is continual, measurable, celebrated and it never ends. It is a daily challenge to do a little better than you did the day before and it is always celebrated. Possible manifestations include standing just one second longer, reading just one more word, learning just one new number, taking just one more step, it’s never a competition and is never completed.
signature programs for all ages
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, phonics 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. (https://gigisplayhouse.org/desmoines/tutoring-programs).
Math Tutoring – Math Tutoring Program is designed to promote a positive experience of learning math and to develop a foundation of basic number understanding and real world math. 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.
signature programs for early learners
LMNOP: Language Music N’ Our Peeps – LMNOP is an interactive and engaging program designed to guide parents and young children through learning basic sign language and other forms of communication using music and language based activities. LMNOP is recommended for ages 4 and under.
Leaps & Bounds – This program focuses on the development of large and small muscle groups. Children will participate in fun and engaging activities that require movement and interaction with their development. Our Leaps & Bounds program is recommended for ages 3-5 year olds.
signature programs for school-age children and teens
Kids Club – This program is designed to support the development of social skills and language through peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting! Kids Club supports gross motor skills through active games, fine motor and self- help skills through meal/snack preparation and activities. Our Kids Club program is recommended for 8—12 year olds.
Teen Tastic – Teen Tastic focuses on building social skills with friends without Down syndrome by participating in team-based activities in a casual and fun setting. Skill development includes understanding compromise, turn-taking, and problem solving abilities. Our Teen Tastic program is recommended for ages 13-18 years old. Seeking host!
signature programs for young adults and adults
Fantastic Friends – Our Fantastic Friends program supports the development of social skills and language through peer to peer interaction in a casual fun setting. Along with their peers without Down syndrome, adult participants participate in the planning of activities so that group activities are based on personal interests. During Fantastic Friends, the group may participate in active games, dancing or exploring their local community by participating in outings and events. Fantastic Friends is recommended for ages 18 years and older.
signature career development programs
The GiGi's Playhouse career development programs are progressive learning programs are designed to motivate adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the world through goal-development and small group skills instruction, physical fitness, nutrition and exceptional work opportunities. Recommended for adults age 18 and up. Click here for more information.
GiGi Prep – GiGi Prep is a progressive learning program for adults, compromised of modular programs that are 6-8-weeks in length that encompass Confident U, Healthy U, and Whole U with emphasis on building communication skills, money management, customer service skills, team building and wellness. GiGi Career Prep is designed for individuals aspiring to enroll in our GiGi University program. Adults will meet with a program leader prior to start of the program for an interview.
GiGi University – A progressive learning program for adults, compromised of a 12-week instructional program, aspiring for an internship within the GiGi's Playhouse Career Development Center. GiGi U is designed to motivate adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the real world with emphasis on interviewing, money management, public speaking, customer service, computer skills, team building and
wellness. The ideal candidate will be highly goal-oriented and motivated to achieve a new level of personal success.
GiGi’s Playhouse Career Development Center Internship – The GiGi’s Internship opportunities within the GiGi's Playhouse Career Development Center provide GiGi U graduates with an 18-week internship to practice and master career skills in a live retail environment. Throughout this internship, interns receive individualized, hands-on training applicable to a variety of work experiences in the community. Training focuses on the development of customer service skills, professional communication skills and work behaviors, computer skills and much more! At the conclusion of the internship, interns receive referrals to potential fields of employment, based on their strengths and interests-all with goal of partnering with the family to help interns obtain community-based employment.
GiGi’s Studio– GiGi’s Studio offers a variety of one-of-a-kind, handmade and heartfelt art pieces and home décor created by individuals with Down syndrome. Adults with Down syndrome from our GiGi University Career Development program are involved in running ALL aspects of the business including artwork and graphic design, production of fused glass, packaging, customer service, community outreach, and sales.
specialty therapeutic-based programs
GiGi’s Playhouse specialty programs have been developed by local Playhouses to meet the needs in each community. Each of these programs offers purposeful play through specific goals and identified outcomes through components such as:
- affective development
- attention development
- cognitive development
- family involvement
- fine motor development
- gross motor development
- parent education
- physical development
- social development
- speech and language development
Programs for All Ages
Family Fun Night
Nuestros Angeles (coming soon)
Program for Early Learners
2 & Under– 0 to 24 months
New Family Group – pre-natal diagnosis to 12 months of age
Families new to the area are welcome too!
Drumming Circle- 3 to 10
programs for school-age children and teens
Drumming Circle– 9-14 years old
Kid’s Cooking Club – 9 & up
Friends, Fun & Fitness – 9 & up
Drama Troupe – 12 & up
Sci-Tech– 5 & Up
Kid’s Cooking Club – 9 & up
Programs for young adults and adults
Book Club- ages 17 & Up (Coming soon!)
Adult Cooking Club- 18 & Up