Captain Picard, Guinan, Ro Laren, and Keiko O'Brien are returning to the Enterprise, but an anomaly causes them to materialize on the transporter pad as pre-adolescent children. Captain Picard ponders resigning his Starfleet commission as he turns over command to Commander Riker, while Keiko and Ro find their own situations about as distressing as his. Guinan, however, relishes the opportunity to be a child again. Though Ro initially is disdainful of Guinan's enthusiasm, having never had an enjoyable childhood, she eventually softens and joins Guinan in her favorite game.
Suddenly, two Klingon warships uncloak and attack the Enterprise. Ferengi board the ship and take control of the bridge, but Riker manages to lock out the main computer, preventing the invaders from taking control of the ship. The Ferengi beam most of the adults onboard to a nearby planet and corral the children, including Picard and his party, into the schoolrooms on the ship. Picard and his group try to use the classroom computers to regain control of the ship, but because of the computers' limited functionality, they must devise an alternate plan of attack.
Picard pretends to be Riker's son and demands to see his "father." He asks Riker to unlock the computer console in the schoolroom, using the ruse that none of the computer games will work. After Picard is returned to the schoolroom, the lead Ferengi threatens to harm the children if Riker does not unlock the computer and teach his lieutenant how to operate the Enterprise. Riker pretends to instruct the Ferengi officer, but only spouts deliberately meaningless treknobabble as he unlocks the computer console in Picard's schoolroom.
Enlisting the help of Worf's son, Alexander, Guinan and Ro pretend to engage in a game of tag to cover the set-up of Picard's ultimately successful plan to retake the Enterprise. Picard, Guinan, and Keiko use the transporter to become adults again, but Ro, buoyed by her experience, decides to remain a child for just a little while longer and draw some pictures, something she never did during her childhood.