therapeutic programs


As our Des Moines Playhouse family grows, so do our program offerings.  Program information is broken down by specific age groups:

Programs for 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!

Music Class – Each session includes singing, movement and instrument play to music. Led by a board certified music therapist from the Kids in Harmony team, the focus of these groups is on developing social, communication, academic, and motor skills in a group setting. We emphasize the use of live music to engage children of every age and ability.


programs for early learners:

Busy Bodies (2 and under)– 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!

Leaps & Bounds – 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) – This program guides parents and infants through learning basic sign language while incorporating music and dance therapy into daily activities, to stimulate your child!  LMNOP is recommended for infants 0-36 months or children that like a quieter music session or need a refresher in basic sign language.


programs for school-aged children and teens:

Art Exploration- This program provides hands on experience with multiple art media and provides an outlet for individuals with Down syndrome to express themselves, build confidence and socialize with peers.

Playhouse Pals – This program will help promote friendships, social skill development and safety awareness through creative and social activities.  Participants will work on listening, turn taking. Recommended for children 6-8 years old.

Kids Clubhouse – This program will help promote friendships, social skills and peer interactions through creative and social activities. Kids Clubhouse sets goals to bring awareness to the community in various activities embracing and strengthening gross motor skills. Recommended for youth who are 9-13 years old.

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 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 a 15-week instructional program, followed by an internship at the GiGi’s Playhouse Store. GiGi U is designed to motivate adults with Down syndrome to achieve their fullest potential in the real world through goal-development and small group skills instruction, physical fitness and exceptional work opportunities.


future programs:

Little Fingers, Big Plans – To promote the foundations of handwriting. This program is primarily a handwriting group incorporating fine motor, sensory awareness, social interaction, an language skills.  This program is designed for individuals with pre-emerging to early handwriting skills.

Busy Hands, Bigger Plans– To promote the foundations of handwriting. This program is primarily a handwriting group but also incorporates fine motor, sensory awareness, social interaction, and language skills. This program is designed for individuals with experience in handwriting and letter formation.

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