If your kids are aspiring explorers, scientists, coders, or engineers, or you just want to get them an educational toy that's actually fun, these would make perfect Christmas gifts.

Augmented Reality Interactive Globe

Globes are classic gifts. I was fascinated by the globe my mom gave me as a kid. It featured bumps and ridges to simulate mountains and valleys, and it fired my imagination and sense of wonder. It also made a great background prop for the space battles my toys got into.

I never would have imagined a globe like this one. Your child can use a tablet or phone to enjoy an augmented reality tour of the world. They could explore by themselves, but my kid had this, I'd be just as into it. This could be a great gift to bond over.

V8 Combustion Engine Model Building Kit

Have a kid who's curious about engines and mechanical engineering? Most of us learned a few things while holding the flashlight while a parent worked on the family car. With this toy, a kid can get more hands-on experience and a real sense of accomplishment for having built something that really works.

Kano Computer Kit Touch

Learning to code at a young age gives today's kids a huge advantage when they start school and sharpens the logic and critical thinking skills they're going to need as the nature of how we work continues to change. This kit allows kids to build their own touchscreen tablet, then code it and get it working.

Sphero BOLT

If you've got an aspiring coder who's a little older, this is the perfect gift. Kids can program what's essentially a spherical robot, learning how to create and execute complex commands and games.

Structural Engineering Kit

If your kid loves to build and is ready to do more than snap some LEGOs together, this kit will introduce them to engineering concepts in a fun and easy to understand way. The manual doesn't just illustrate how to build things, but explains the forces at work.