GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis offers a variety of educational and therapeutic programs to meet the needs of our families and community. Program information is broken down by specific age groups:
Programs for all ages
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!
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.
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) – 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.
Proud Parent – 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.
Walkers Program (Major Milestones) – 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.
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.
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. Ages 2-7 years old
Breakfast Club - This program focuses on socialization, fine and gross motor skills, following directions and working cooperatively all while learning essential life skills necessary for cooking during a fun baking activity. Ages 5-10 years old
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 themselves, build confidence and socialize with peers. Recommended for children ages 9 and up.
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 and older.
Kids Clubhouse – This program will help promote friendships, social skills and peer interactions through creative and social activities. Recommended for school age youth.
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
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.
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.
Kindergarten Prep - Kindergarten Prep transforms learning into a walk of discovery, offering safe and exciting opportunities at every turn!
Kindergarten Prep Goals
- Develop social emotional and peer awareness through engagement in interactive play, structured routine, establishment of role responsibility and expansion of listening skills to simple multi-step directions.
- Provide reinforcement of basic math/literacy knowledge readiness with focus on letter recognition, math (1-10) basics, recognition of name and common sight words.
- Provide participation in core physical activities including but not limited to fine motor, gross motor and sensory skills to promote engagement and tolerance for the classroom setting.
Advanced Registration is required; class size is limited to 5 participants. Students must be 5 years old AND registered for fall Kindergarten.
Teen Tastic - Teen Tastic is an interactive and engaging program for teens ages 12-18. This program is built to include teenagers with Down syndrome and those without Down syndrome. This program is intended to promote the development of social/emotional skills, fine and gross motor skills, self-help skills, communication, essential life skills and peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting. Activities may include, role playing, money management, nutrition and cooking, education on health and wellness and of course all things Teen!
Programs for young adults and adults
Fantastic 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.
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.