Early intervention can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills and increase their success in school and life.

From a prenatal diagnosis of having an individual with Down syndrome to taking those first steps to reading, GiGi’s has a variety of programs for early learners and their families (0-4). These programs are designed for individuals with Down syndrome and support the entire family. Our Early Learner programs include GiGiFIT, You & I, LMNOP (aka Language Music ‘N Our Peeps), GiGiFIT Infant, Leaps & Bounds, GiGiFIT Toddler, GiGi’s Amina Grace Speech & Language program, with Literacy & Math Tutoring starting at age 3.

We invite the entire family – parents, caregivers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to join us for programs. Each of the above programs guides participants through progressions while your child learns at their own pace. Skills that we incorporate in each of our programs include communication, fine and gross motor skills, balance and coordination, strength, and social and peer interaction. The purposeful progressions that we work on in these programs include transition and listening skills, self-awareness, communication/language development, sitting, crawling, and walking. But wait…our programs aren’t just for our kiddos. As a family, we teach about resources and how to navigate them, sibling support, building friendships and community, and setting high expectations. We welcome learners three years old and up in our literacy and math tutoring to begin building the learning foundations. The skills learned in these programs prepare all of us for the next phase in their life – school!

Did you know …

  • We have had over 120,000 program participation hours in our Early Learner programs.
  • LMNOP was designed by a mom who just happens to be an SLP from our Quad Cities location in 2012.
  • At least one Early learner program is offered at each of our GiGi’s Playhouse locations.
  • We have had over 42,500 volunteer hours for our Early Learner programs.
  • GiGiFIT was designed in partnership with Mann Method PT which specializes in working with individuals with Down syndrome.

At GiGi’s, we don’t measure milestones, we provide tools, resources, and support to meet each individual where they are and help them purposefully progress to achieve their 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’s always celebrated. Best of All originated when we heard about Charlie Manley. Though he tragically passed away at 16,  this was Charlie’s philosophy on life:  Every day he worked a little harder until he was doing things some Olympic athletes could not do! The next time you are at your local Playhouse, ask your staff member for a copy of the GiGi’s Best of All Guide for your child’s age range. The guide provides information, tips, and resources to help you and your child learn together.

  • Detroit Blog- Does It Really Matter: We love him
  • Tinley Park Blog: Open Play – “Every program we offer our participants, whether infants or adults, is educational and therapeutic in nature. With our littlest ones, we strive to provide them with the support they need to achieve important milestones for development. During Open Play, it may appear that our participants are simply playing with toys, but built into that play is a whole lot of therapy. To enhance fine motor skills, they grasp and hold toys to develop muscle strength in their hands. They throw and roll balls to grow their eye/hand coordination. They place shapes into holes and rings onto cones, thus manipulating objects with their hands. To build gross motor skills, they crawl and roll and climb and walk. All of this is done in a safe environment with loads of support and, of course, LOTS and LOTS of cheering! 
  • Quad Cities Blog: Love Our Team – ““I don’t have words of advice, but words of welcome! GiGi’s Playhouse is an amazing resource for families and is overwhelmingly compassionate and helpful to everyone who comes through the doors.”

“My favorite thing about GiGi’s is the love and support they show for all their participants. It is very fulfilling to share my skills and have a direct positive impact on our community.”

Misty Diaz, GiGi’s Quad Cities LMNOP Program Leader

We are excited to get you involved and support our programs for Early Learners by participating, volunteering or donating!

  • If you are a family member, check out our calendar to register for programs!
  • If you are a volunteer, please register to attend an upcoming Volunteer Orientation and let us know you are ready to get started.
  • If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, tutor enrollment is open now through May 15, 2023

if you want to discuss opportunities to partner with you, please email us at info@gigisplayhouse.org.

Early learning for those who have Down syndrome
GiGiFIT session at Phoenix Playhouse

Recent Posts

cruz-headshot

Cheryl’s story: Embracing a beautiful journey of motherhood 

**This special Mother’s Day story was submitted via #MyDsStory  Written by our guest writer, Cheryl Sewell  My son Cruz’s diagnosis was a total surprise to us when I gave birth....
real-estate-rumble

Charity boxing match to take place in Lincoln Park

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 3, 2024 (Chicago, IL) – Forget silent auctions or fancy galas – a different kind of charity event is hitting Chicago. Real Estate Rumble, a charity...
IMG_1533-collage

Annika’s story: From older sister to lifelong advocate 

**This story was submitted via #MyDsStory and won the contest! Written by our guest writer, Annika Soderfelt  Aaron, my little brother, has Down syndrome, and he is one of my best...

Leave a Comment