There are a large amount of therapeutic recreation opportunities for individuals of varying special needs across the Quad Cities. These events are often ran by the parks and recreation department, or potentially another stand alone organization. These events provide much needed activities and engagement for families and friends of individuals with disabilities. One of the important things to note about these specific events, is that they are normally catered towards a broad range of individuals with disabilities. Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities, offers similar events and recreation opportunities, with a slight twist. Gigi’s Playhouse is focused 100% on helping individuals with down syndrome. I think this is a wonderful option to have in communities, because it allows individuals that specifically have down syndrome, to be around others with the same disability. This promotes a great sense of belonging and community among them. Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities, the 8th playhouse that popped up nationally, resides in Moline, Illinois, offering all individuals with down syndrome the opportunity to grow and thrive. The rest of the article will highlight some of the incredible activities and services that Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities offers to many of the individuals in our community.
Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities Programs
Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities splits up their offerings based off of age range. Because of this, I am going to split up the article the same way.
Most of the activities at Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities are actually catered towards all ages. Some of the programs offered for all ages are hands on art activities, speech and language classes, literacy and math courses, structured family fun and games, handwriting skills, and many other opportunities that promote open play and free thinking. If you are looking for something catered specifically for your child or one you are caring for, they have those as well.
Early Learners Group (0-4 Years Old)
For the early learns, Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities offers a few different programs. Some of these involve learning basic sign language, play based programs to help foster group participation and communication with others in school, fitness classes focused on fine motor, vestibular, and reflex skills, and even music courses to let out your little one’s inner love for dance and music.
School Age Learners Group (5-12 Years Old)
If the one you are caring for is not within that age range, no need to fret! Plenty of offerings are available for those just a little bit older. A few of these engagements is a kids club designed to foster relationships and build communication skills with peers, fitness classes designed to keep your loved one healthy and work on fine and gross motor skills. This is a wonderful place to increase confidence for this age group, as this age is HIGHLY influenced by the outside world.
Teenager Group (13-17 Years Old)
We all love our teenagers (even if they don’t love us back.) Thankfully, there are a few programs for individuals with down syndrome to participate in at Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities. Some of these programs include, activities to build friendships and promote teamwork, fitness classes to push past barriers and help improve your teenagers overall wellness, dance instruction to get those hips moving, and even kitchen courses outlining the basics of food handling, knife skills, and proper nutrition.
Adult Group (18+)
Adults are more than welcome at Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities. There are plenty of offerings for the “older” group as well. These offerings include, fitness classes designed to keep in shape and teach about living a healthy lifestyle, friendship groups tow work on social skills and embrace support from others, life skills courses with activities such as money management, communication, and being part of society, and of course a kitchen class that helps shows the basics of kitchen preparation, maintenance, and anything involved in proper nutrition and safety. In addition, there is also a gratitude committee where individuals who want to give back the skills they learned, can help others with down syndrome as well.
I would be remised if I didn’t mention the volunteering opportunities available at Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities. As a non-profit they rely heavily on donations and volunteers to keep them afloat. Some of the volunteering roles available are tutoring, special events helps, cleaning of toys/organizing, help with programs at the playhouse, being a host family, and planning of programs for the members.
For the most up to date information on EVERYTHING going on, make sure to check out the website for the Quad Cities Playhouse here.
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