non-profit child-advocacy research and development

Year-Round Drop-In Day Camp and Activity Center
the conscientious alternative for kids age 6 to adult


During the School-Year:
Mon, Tue, Thur, Friday: 3 - 6 pm
Wednesday: 2 - 6 pm
Saturday: Noon to 5pm
Closed Sunday


School Year 2013-2014
Oct 21, Nov 11 and 27, Dec 23, Jan 2 and 3, Jan 17 and 20,
Feb 17-21, Mar 18, April 14-18

Nov 28 - 29, Dec 24 - Jan 1, Jan 4, Feb 22, April 19, Memorial Day


Click here for directions to our location
Our location is not correct on Google or your GPS

Advance payment:
15 hrs - $12.00/hr ($180)
30 hrs - $9.00 hr ($270)
Daily rate: $15.00/hr

After nineteen years and twenty thousand children at the Seaplane site

Constant pursuit of child-advocacy has made The Planet unlike any ‘program,’ but very like an ideal neighborhood or village. While ‘Planet kids’ are free to do nothing, they choose to spend most of their time in our highly-structured Beading-Sewing and Handtool-Woodshop classes – the best in the world. This ‘interest-based learning’ lets children focus their attention beautifully, as they happily build the mental systems of logic and math. And that close structure is complemented by the delicate supervision which fosters priceless, old-fashioned, kid-generated ‘play’ – a value we’ve upheld for decades and is now widely seen as sadly lacking in most kids’ lives. Come see these living realities!

Please take a moment to review our House Rules



Offers the best-quality instruction with hand-tools any time The Planet is open. Project selection increases with the student's ability. The program is designed to help kids develop their own problem-solving skills. Kids who have a head start in this tend to outpace their peers in general academics, in leadership, and in the self-confidence that provides a buffer against peer-pressures. All woodshop activities are covered by our basic drop-in rates: additional materials fees may apply.



Bead-Jewelry and Homecrafts

Are offered by as a drop-in activity. Projects include pillows, stuffed creatures, dolls, doll-clothes, holiday ornaments, friendship bracelets, and any kind of beaded jewelry you can imagine. Skills include sewing, knitting, and highly specialized bead techniques. Besides developing artistic expression, experience in these areas is increasingly recognized as highly beneficial for all sorts of system-thinking, including, of course, the sciences.




The Front Room

The entrance to The Planet is a kind of center – where kids come and go, spontaneous ‘play’ rules, and activities vary from hour to hour: K’nex, Lego, snacks, ping-pong, the constant invention of whimsical games and fads that happy kids generate together, within light guidelines of courtesy: probably the best ‘socialization’ of all.





Outdoor Activities and Free Play

Preserving the timeless value of ‘playing outside,’ Planet staff provide suggestions and resources, such as bubble-blowing, rope-jumping, four-squares, and so on, but – best of all – children are allowed to play freely, generating their own games, exercising their own imaginations, and finding the best fun in their own conflict-resolution, their own power to develop games together. The Planet has long been an oasis for the kind of ‘free play’ that is now increasingly seen as most important to children, under the delicate guidance which depends on deep adult experience and simply cannot be provided by well-meaning adult referees or trained employees.



Yes, The Planet car picks up children after school, currently only from Tam Valley, Strawberry and Bel Air. Other schools only when pre-arranged well in advance.

Yes, we help with homework.

Yes, our established families can usually arrange special Saturday Morning birthday-parties. Please call for details.


The Planet Alternative

Now in our nineteenth year at the Seaplane Airport, we are pleased to find that, for many families, The Planet is like a real-life neighborhood or village - with its adult-guided resources, spontaneous kid-directed events, shady places to share dreams with friends, and the infinity of textural details that show long cultivation. As we maintain a family feeling, with virtually no staff turnover, we particularly invite those parents who share our determination to find a wholesome way through our rapidly-changing world.

At The Planet we offer technical instruction, in shops that guide the genuine interests of children into general problem-solving skills, clarity, and self-confidence. And through our light over-all structure, emphasizing freedom and self-control, we carefully guide children toward best social development.

We think that highly structured activities can be excellent, but something more is needed. Teachers and counselors may do their best to add a personal feeling to activity programs, but modern kids' behavior often shows a lack of center or continuity. Kids may win 'sportsmanship' awards yet remain unable to play fair without adult referees. They may get high grades in school, while real-life comprehension is overlooked. And what parents teach kids about good manners is not always reinforced in specialized programs.

At The Planet, we strive for a balance in which everyone's heart is protected and honored. As a result, we find that diversity - of ethnicity, gender, ability, age, and plain old individuality - is a source of interest and fun. If we fail to honor the individual heart, we plant a need to assert the self above others, a need to seek advantage, to compensate for the inner feeling of neglect.

Our 'minors'-rights' advocacy is a constant development of this theory. Our policies, always subject to review, allow some unusual freedoms: like doing nothing, mutually-agreed rough play, and toy weapons - and they impose some demands that are not always found in kids' programs: like responsible eating habits, 'good judgement,' and courtesy. But all our policies express only one principle: sensitivity for the rights and safety of everyone. This provides the best feeling of personal security, permission to 'be,' to grow and discover individuality in a balance of mutual respect. Kids soon welcome our consistent rules as sensitive protection. And they find, as no one could 'teach' them, that fairness is fun - and this is how a happy society works.


Kids' Headquarters, Inc. / The Planet  220 Redwood Highway  Mill Valley, Ca 94941
Tel: (415) 331-8373  Fax: (415) 331-8275 


© Copyright 2009 Kids' Headquarters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.