by | Sep 28, 2021 | Gift Ideas, School, Z

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2021 @ 4:31 pm.

What's the best globe for kids? To find out, we asked the experts—kids themselves. We took 7 popular globes and asked kids for their feedback. Which was easiest to use? Had a companion app? Or had interactive features? Here are the ones that were the tops in our tests.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the kids and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Light-Up Kids Globe

Also great as a night light
This light-up globe is just the right size and features a duo of maps: political borders (when lit up) and physical features (when not). Very good quality.
$45.00

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Best Light-Up Kids Globe: Replogle 10” Lisbon, Blue Illuminated World Globe

Let’s talk globes!

When it comes to globes, things can get surprisingly political. Some globes made overseas don’t accurately reflect the current status of certain countries. That’s why when it comes the best light-up globe, we’d recommend globes manufactured in the USA—they are the most objective. A great example: Replogle’s “Lisbon” globe is our favorite.

This well-made globe is just the right size (10″) for kids to learn . . . or just to have as a desk ornament.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Lights up! This globe uses a 25 watt candelabra-style bulb.

• Details include ocean currents, mountain ranges and other physical geography.

• Can be used as a night light.

• Made in the USA. 

• 10″ diameter.

• When lit up, it shows political borders . . . when not lit up, you see just the physical features.

Here’s what the globe looks like when illuminated (not the color-coded countries):

When not illuminated, the globe looks like this:
Best Globe Not Lit Up

 

What Needs Work

• Electrical cord extends from globe base, making it somewhat awkward to carry around.

• More ocean topography would be welcome.

• Plastic stand could use some more heft to make it stable.

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Best No-Frills Kids Globe

Larger size = easier to read
Great detail is what makes this globe excellent for kids studying geography—we liked the ocean topography, mountain ranges and more. Bonus: it spins both horizontally and vertically, which is most helpful.
$55.53

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Best No-Frills Kids Globe: Advantus 12 Inch Desktop World Globe

When we say no frills, we mean this globe is just that . . . it doesn’t light up, have a companion app, etc. But sometimes simpler is better! At 12″, it is much easier to use than smaller models. 

We liked the detail (mountains, deserts, forests are all called out) as well as ocean topography. And it spins nicely!

What We Liked

 Great for classrooms or home school.

• Large size = easy to read.

• Good detail.

• Spins both horizontally and vertically!

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

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Best Interactive Kids Globe

Videos + games = fun learning
Our kid testers loved this interactive globe the best of all we tried—touch the stylus to a geographic feature to activate a BBC video. 5+ hours of videos cover geographic features.
$74.99

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Best Interactive Kids Globe: LeapFrog Magic Adventures Globe

There are several interactive globes for kids out there—after trying them out, we think LeapFrog’s Magic Adventures Globe is the best of the bunch.

Why?

In a nutshell, kids told us it was fun—it includes five hours of BBC videos (shown on a 2.7″ LCD screen below the globe) plus three interactive games. This made learning geography fun, said the kiddos, and we’d agree—it is well designed.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Touch the stylus to the globe and up pops a video with more info on that geographic feature.

• Best for ages 5-7.

• Includes detailed info on capitals, landmarks, flags and more.

• Fun!

What Needs Work

• A headphone jack would be nice. That way kids could listen to the videos quietly. But alas, no headphone jacks.

• Pricey.

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Best Globe + Constellations

Easy to read
We loved this globe's two modes: political map + star map (when lit up). Very educational, with 88 constellations in all. Clever combo of geography and astronomy.
$49.95

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Best Globe + Constellations: USA Toyz LED Illuminated Globe of the World

And now for something different: a globe that also teaches astronomy. How? This globe has two modes: during  the day, it is your standard political globe. At night, flip the light switch and you get constellations and planet locations. Very unique . . . and a good combination of geography plus astronomy.

What We Liked

• Good detail with deserts, reefs and other geographic features.

• Lights up at night with 88 constellations.

• Good size for desk.

• Great as a gift.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Switch is under the base of the globe . . . which is hard to locate at first!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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