Current Programs

Visit the All Ages and your participant's Age Group tab to see all of our FREE Purposeful Programs available!

All Ages

Destination Discovery

Play = Fun + Learning  Destination Discovery supports the development of fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills and language through purposeful play and peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting. This program also brings families together to share experiences and build relationships.   Recommended for All Ages.

Suitable for ages 4-8 years old and held during the summer, this class invites parents and their child to explore and learn. Themes will be different each week. Here is a link to register for this class. https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

Speech & Language 1-on-1

The GiGi's Amina Grace One-on-One Speech & Language program provides youth, teens and adults with greatly expanded opportunities to evolve and refine their speech and language skills This program supports the increase of clarity of speech and enunciation, word order and message meaning and comprehension which benefits self-confidence, school and social readiness and Increased independence and overall quality of life. Recommended for All Ages.

Art Explosion

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.

This program is split into two groups, ages 2-10 years old and 11 years old and older. The 2-10 year old class meets on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10:00-noon at the Playhouse. The 11 and older class meets on the 2nd and 4th Monday nights of each month from 6:00-7:30 pm. Here is the link to register for the program on our calendar. https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

Drama Troupe

Focuses on confidence and cooperation will be practiced through a variety of drama improvisation techniques, theatrical productions and games to recreate and learn self-expression with vocal and physical freedom.

GiGi's Playhouse Rockford and Gateway Performing Arts Studio are proud to partner together for this program, designed to give participants a chance to take the stage. Generously provided by the Rockford Arts Council, this program is suitable for ages 10 years old and older.

Karate Kickers

Focuses on the development of balance, coordination, discipline, focus, attention, wellness and confidence through the basic foundational movements of karate and martial arts. Recommended for ages 8-12, 13-17, 18+.

Suitable for ages 10 years old and up, this program is led by Jamie Potter at his studio in Rockford Plaza. Please contact us at 815-654-7529 if you are interested in registering your child in this program.

Literacy

The One-on-One Literacy tutoring program for individuals with Down syndrome provides instruction based on the interests and inspirations of each student. The Literacy tutoring program supports the increase of sight word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension, articulation, self-esteem, speech clarity and fine motor skills. Our trained tutors provide motivating and purposeful lessons designed to keep our students engaged and learning both during sessions and when extending activities at home. Recommended for ages 3+.

More Details and Apply

Coordinated by Erin Kramar, our tutoring programs work at the student's own pace to enhance literacy and math skills. Please click the following link to register your child for this program https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/

Math

The One-on-One Math tutoring program uses a multi-sensory, strength-based approach to build confidence and success for our students. The Math tutoring program supports the increase of the range of math skills, self-esteem, confidence, critical thinking, problem solving skills, independence and autonomy, and fine motor skills. Our research-based curriculum encompasses a variety of strategies and techniques to ensure that every student can be successful when learning math. Recommended for ages 3+.

More Details and Apply

Coordinated by Erin Kramar, our tutoring programs work at the student's own pace to enhance literacy and math skills. Please click the following link to register your child for this program https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/

Music

Tap into your inner rock star where every voice shines!  Music supports the increase of self-confidence, social skills, communication and motor skills.

Early Learners (0-4)

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 while using music and language-based activities. Recommended for ages pre-natal to 36 months.

Held on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10:00-noon at the Playhouse, this program runs simultaneously with Leaps & Bounds, and Art Explosion. Led by Kristy Smyth, Kim Nesemeier, and Kelli McFadden. Click the following link to register your child for this program https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

Crawlers and Walkers

Focuses on the development of gross and fine motor skills through activities that are hands-on and fun! Social skills and language development will also be addressed, with focus on learning new words, following directions and interacting with peers. Recommended for ages 1-4.

Held on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10:00-noon, this program runs simultaneously with Leaps & Bounds, and Art Explosion. Led by Kristy Smyth, Kim Nesemeier, and Kelli McFadden. Here is a link to register for the program https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

Leaps & Bounds

Leaps & Bounds is a play-based program for children ages 3-5 that focuses on success in preschool and kindergarten. Students will participate in fun and engaging activities that provide opportunities for following routines, small group participation, movement and interaction with their environment. Family members are key participants in this program and will encourage their child to reach his or her Best of All throughout each session.  Recommended for ages 3-5 year olds.

Held on the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10:00-noon, this program runs simultaneously with Leaps & Bounds, and Art Explosion. Led by Kristy Smyth, Kim Nesemeier, and Kelli McFadden. Here is a link to register for the program https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

Be sure to check out our All Ages programs also!

School Age Learners (5-12)

Kids Club

Supports the development of social skills and language through peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting. This program will also support gross motor skills through active games, fine motor and self-help skills through meal/snack preparation and activities. Recommended for 8-12 year-olds.

This summer program is suitable for our pre-teens, ages 9-12 years old. From outside activities, to science experiments, friendships are formed and summer fun is had at this program. Here is the link to our calendar in order to register for this program. https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

GiGiFIT Kids

GiGiFIT Kids combines key movements from GiGiFIT Teen and advanced progressions of activities from GiGiFIT Toddler to help improve strength, balance, coordination, peer interaction and to build a lifelong love of physical activity. GiGiFIT Kids is not just purposeful play it is our special work out-time to make you stronger , faster, more coordinated and kids say "I love this fun, structured, purposeful movements". Recommended for 5-12 year olds.

Cheer Gems

An active and energetic group focused on positivity recognition and spirit. Cheer Gems provides a spring board of confidence giving opportunities to participate on a cheer squad and have a shared experience with peers. Recommended for ages 6+.

Suitable for ages 9 years old and older, this program meets every Sunday from noon - 1:00 pm at the Playhouse. The Gems will take a break for the summer. Here is a link to our calendar to register for this class https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

Speech & Language Group Kids

Speech & Language Group facilitates newly developed communication skills providing a more natural communication between peers. Participants 6-12 year olds practice new skills through informal interaction with other members of the group, with the guidance of a program leader.

GiGi’s Kitchen Kids

GiGi’s Kitchen is designed to emphasize the importance of health and wellness through nutrition education, kitchen safety, food preparation, social activities and a shared meal/snack. Under the guidance of program leaders, participants will learn about and progress through skills including measurements, food handling, knife skills, ingredient identification, palette expansion, and nutrition. Participants will be introduced to various cooking techniques. GiGi’s Kitchen program will build participants self-esteem and self-confidence through nutrition and wellness!  This program is recommended for ages 5-12.

Be sure to check out our All Ages programs also!

Teenagers (13-17)

Teen Tastic

Focuses on building social skills with friends with and 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.

Suitable for ages 13-19, this program welcomes individuals with any diagnosis. Held the third Saturday of each month from 6:30-9:00 pm at the Playhouse, Teen Tastics takes a break for the summer months. Please use the following link to register https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar.

GiGiFIT Teen

Introduces the key movements of foundational , hip strengthening and vestibular/balance exercises, we focus on improving areas of fitness through activities in strength, endurance, joint stability, balance, movement control and more. GiGiFIT Teen incorporates age appropriate activities that teens can be successful with and  strengthen their bodies purposefully.​ GiGiFIT promotes wellness through nutrition, pushing through barriers and building self-confidence. Recommended for 13-17 year olds.

GiGi’s Kitchen Teen

GiGi’s Kitchen is designed to emphasize the importance of health and wellness through nutrition education, kitchen safety, food preparation, social activities and a shared meal/snack. Under the guidance of program leaders, participants will learn about and progress through skills including measurements, food handling, knife skills, ingredient identification, palette expansion, and nutrition. Participants will be introduced to various cooking techniques. GiGi’s Kitchen program will build participants self-esteem and self-confidence through nutrition and wellness!  This program is recommended for ages 13-17.

Be sure to check out our All Ages programs also!

Adults

GiGiFIT Adult

Introduces the key movements of foundational, hip strengthening, and vestibular/balance exercises, making them successful to implement and practice at any stage of life! Focuses on improving areas of fitness through activities in strength, endurance, joint stability, balance, movement control and more. GiGiFIT promotes wellness through nutrition, pushing through barriers and building self-confidence. Recommended for 18+.

Fantastic Friends

A fun purposeful & social gathering for adults with Down syndrome, their peers and the community. Supports the development of social skills and language through peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting. Recommended for Adults 18+.

Led by Bob and Cindy Denen, this social program is held on the third Friday of each month, from 6:30-9:00 pm at the Playhouse, Here is a link to our calendar to RSVP for this program. https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/rockford-calendar

GiGi U

A comprehensive and progressive learning program tailored specifically for adults with Down syndrome comprised of a 15-week session made up of 3-days per week instructional program. GiGi U is designed for motivated adults with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential in the real world while developing their abilities in the areas of wellness, communication and career skills with emphasis on job interviewing, communication skills, money management, public speaking, customer service, computer skills, team building and health.   Recommended for Adults 18+.

Consisting of Continuing Education and Internships, GiGi U is open to individuals with Down syndrome who possess a high school diploma or certificate, who has successfully completed the GiGi Prep course. Please contact Erin Kramar for further information at 815-654-7529.

SMART

Provides social interaction opportunities for participants to meet new friends, learn new skills and have lots of FUN! The rotating theme allows for learning through games, activities and games with peer interaction. Recommended for ages 18+.

Suitable for adults with Down syndrome who are 18 years old and older, this social program helps participants enhance their life skills. This program is held Mondays from 10-2.

GiGi Prep

The GiGi Prep program has an emphasis on building communication skills, money management, customer service skills, team building, health and wellness over a 10-week session made up of 2-days per week instructional learning. This program is an application based program with high expectations to motivate adults with Down syndrome. Recommended for Adults 18+.

GiGi Prep is the first step in the GiGi U curriculum. Upon successful completion of GiGi Prep, students will move on to Continuing Education, and possibly internship opportunities. For more information, please contact Erin Kramar at 815-654-7529.

GiGi's Kitchen Adult

GiGi’s Kitchen is designed to emphasize the importance of health and wellness through nutrition education, kitchen safety, food preparation, social activities and a shared meal/snack. Under the guidance of program leaders, participants will learn about and progress through skills including measurements, food handling, knife skills, ingredient identification, palette expansion, and nutrition. Participants will be introduced to various cooking techniques. GiGi’s Kitchen program will build participants self-esteem and self-confidence through nutrition and wellness!  This program is recommended for ages 18+

Be sure to check out our All Ages programs also!

Help us bring these programs to our playhouse

GiGiFIT Infant

In GiGiFIT Infant we are making movement fun! We introduce the concepts of foundational movements, mobility, visual-vestibular, and reflex integration activities. In a fun environment we are purposefully progressing on improving areas of fitness through activities in strength, endurance, joint stability, balance, movement control and more.  Recommended for infant to pre-walking.
 

Playhouse Pals

Supports the development of social skills and language through peer to peer interaction in a casual and fun setting. This program also supports gross motor skills through active games, as well as fine motor skills & self-help skills. Recommended for 5-8 year olds.

GiGi Professional

Whether it’s an office, retail environment, a design studio or a production space, GiGi’s career internship programs build on the skills learned in GiGi U with practical applications and the achievement of certifications. During each individual with Down syndromes 13-week internship they will purposefully progress through certifications learning and demonstrating strengths and interests in transferable job skills, building their resume for placement in a job or volunteer position in the community. Pre-req: GiGi U. Recommended for Adults 18+.

Studio Cafe

Whether it’s a retail environment, a design studio, a production space or an office, GiGi’s career internship programs build on the skills learned in GiGi U with practical applications and the achievement of certifications. During each individual with Down syndromes 13-week internship they will purposefully progress through certifications learning and demonstrating strengths and interests in transferable job skills, building their resume for placement in a job or volunteer position in the community. Pre-req: GiGi U. Recommended for Adults 18+.

GiGiFIT Toddler

GiGiFIT Toddler includes foundational, vestibular and targeted mobility movements, reflex integration and control. We have taken these movements and concepts to the next level in a fast-paced, super fun and socially interactive atmosphere for young children who have recently mastered the ability to walk on their own. Recommended for walking to 4 year olds.

GiGiFIT You & I

During GiGiFIT You & I the #1 goal is to foster relationships and develop a positive community among caregivers. The fact that we are adding movement is a bonuswith a focus on sneaky physical therapy to improve joint stability, strength, endurance, balance and coordination. We have introduced the concepts of GiGiFIT Adult and GiGiFIT Infant to caregivers of infants with Down syndrome. Recommended for Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Caregivers and their newborn.