A little bit of history …

I must have been 7 yrs old when I drew a big house with 4 or 5 stories with lots of windows and flowers. The house was full of people laughing and singing and it was bustling with activity. I gave the drawing to my mother as a gift and she asked me what kind of house it was. “This is my world, Mama, when I grow up: Lots of kids and all the people that I love in one big house."  

Just like I’ve always seen it: a house full of people – kids, music, laughter!
— Barbara Rellstab, Founder

And decades later after trying out many different avenues, I find myself here in New York with exactly that: Rella’s Spielhaus: Named after my nickname in Elementary School, I run (parts of it) in my own house (aka Harlem apartment) where everything that is important to me is present: Music, quality education and the German language and culture. And every day I get to share it with people that surround me: The Rella's children and parents, my employees and of course, my 7- year old son, and my friends and family. 

It really all started when I toured the various music programs for infants and toddlers when my son was 3 months old. I found myself somewhat dissatisfied with  the offerings. And – there was no program in German! After all the years of teaching theater and voice, I decided to invite my friends with small children for a round of songs and stories in Central Park: And over 10 families showed up! That was in 2009. From Central Park we went to the Harlem Public Library, to Gowanus, Brooklyn and White Plains. And for the past 3 years we have been settled on the UWS and Midtown West. And – even though I encountered hard ship personally, quite serendipitously, a mother in the "Lieder & Geschichten" classes told me about the possibility of an in-home license – Rella’s Spielhaus was born! And – as life goes: Our children from Rella’s and “Lieder & Geschichten” grew and 2 yrs ago were ready for Summer Camp! 

Barbara Rellstab "schwelgt" in Erinnerungen

I very much look forward to the years to come as we are expanding our services and adding more of “Rella’s". And I hope that you will find the sense of belonging and a 2nd home here at Rella’s Day Care, at the Rella's Kinderklassen or at the summer courses and One-Day Intensives. When I look at the children, I feel it, just the way I did when I was 7yrs old.