How do we define success in school? What is the profile of skills that every graduate must have to be successful in life and in the workplace of tomorrow? In some ways, the global pandemic brought these questions to the foreground. The “factory model” of education that continues to dominate the majority of American classrooms is outdated. Teachers are pressured to improve students’ reading and math scores on standardized tests, yet assessments show that scores have remained mostly unchanged since the early 2000s. This model neither prepares students to thrive in the 21st century nor does it address systemic inequalities. In our Brookings Big Ideas Piece (Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2020), A new path to education reform, and in Becoming Brilliant (Golinkoff & Hirsh-Pasek, 2017), I argue the narrow focus on content outcomes—rather than on the ability to critically think through a problem and apply new knowledge systemically is the root of the problem. Using data from early education, I suggest that rather than making kindergarten the new 1st grade, we should use early education as a model for curricula and pedagogical approaches that embrace a breadth of skills, in a breadth of contexts at a breadth of ages. This talk uses translational data from the science of learning to suggest that “playful” experiential learning in and out of school might allow us to re-imagine all of education in our time.