Guides for product: Circuit Playground Express

Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming. We've taken the original Circuit Playground Classic and made it even better! Not only did we pack even more sensors in, we also made it even easier to program.

Start your journey with Microsoft MakeCode block-based or Javascript programming. Then, you can use the same board to try CircuitPython, with the Python interpreter running right on the Express. As you progress, you can advance to using Arduino IDE, which has full support of all the hardware down to the low level, so you can make powerful projects.You can even use code.org CS Discoveries to learn all about coding right in your browser!

Check out our detailed guide with a tour of Circuit Playground Express and details on getting started using MakeCode, CircuitPython, code.org CS Discoveries or Arduino!

Because you can program the same board in 4 different ways - the Express has great value and re-usability. From beginners to experts, Circuit Playground Express has something for everyone. If you are looking for our original, Arduino-only Circuit Playground, check out the Circuit Playground Classic.

    The board is round and has alligator-clip pads around it so you don't have to solder or sew to make it work. You can power it from USB, a AAA battery pack, or with a Lipoly battery (for advanced users). Circuit Playground Express has built-in USB support. Built in USB means you plug it in to program it and it just shows up, no special cable or adapter required. Just program your code into the board then take it on the go!

    Here's some of the great goodies baked in to each Circuit Playground Express:

    • 10 x mini NeoPixels, each one can display any color
    • 1 x Motion sensor (LIS3DH triple-axis accelerometer with tap detection, free-fall detection)
    • 1 x Temperature sensor (thermistor)
    • 1 x Light sensor (phototransistor). Can also act as a color sensor and pulse sensor.
    • 1 x Sound sensor (MEMS microphone)
    • 1 x Mini speaker with class D amplifier (7.5mm magnetic speaker/buzzer)
    • 2 x Push buttons, labeled A and B
    • 1 x Slide switch
    • Infrared receiver and transmitter - can receive and transmit any remote control codes, as well as send messages between Circuit Playground Expresses. Can also act as a proximity sensor.
    • 8 x alligator-clip friendly input/output pins
    • Includes I2C, UART, 8 pins that can do analog inputs, multiple PWM output
    • 7 pads can act as capacitive touch inputs and the 1 remaining is a true analog output
    • Green "ON" LED so you know its powered
    • Red "#13" LED for basic blinking
    • Reset button
    • ATSAMD21 ARM Cortex M0 Processor, running at 3.3V and 48MHz
    • 2 MB of SPI Flash storage, used primarily with CircuitPython to store code and libraries.
    • MicroUSB port for programming and debugging
    • USB port can act like serial port, keyboard, mouse, joystick or MIDI!

    Check out our detailed guide with a tour of Circuit Playground Express and details on getting started using MakeCode, CircuitPython, code.org CS Discoveries or Arduino!

    Your Perfect Silhouette in Lights
    LED NeoPixel Corset with Circuit Playground Express and MakeCode
    10
    Intermediate
    Create an ultra-low-cost boat that automatically starts swimming when dropped in the water
    Buttermilk Boat with Circuit Playground Express
    1
    Beginner
    Make a Gem that lights up like your favorite characters with a secret Fusion feature
    Steven Universe Wearable, Fusable Gem
    1
    Beginner
    Add Glowing Eyes and Spines to your Spirit Animal
    Light Up Paper Dragon Wall Sconce
    5
    Intermediate
    Programmable tapping fingers with Circuit Playground Express and MakeCode
    Tappy Robotic Hand
    7
    Beginner
    Create the ultimate air instrument -- using nothing but your hand!
    Circuit Playground Musical Glove
    8
    Beginner
    Reusable piñata that reacts when hit
    Drama Piñata
    3
    Beginner
    Dress like Steven and activate your own belly button gem when you get excited
    Steven Universe Cosplay Shirt & Gem
    1
    Beginner
    Using CircuitPython to turn the Circuit Playground Express into a USB MIDI controller or a simple MIDI-enabled synthesizer.
    Circuit Playground Express USB MIDI Controller and Synthesizer
    6
    Beginner
    Customizable Ring of NeoPixels to illuminate your shots
    Color Spinner Camera Ring Light
    4
    Beginner
    Build robots with magnets
    Robotic Creatures
    9
    Beginner
    Shield yourself from all the villains AND the rain!
    Cartoon Network and Make Code - Rose Quartz Shield Umbrella
    11
    Beginner
    Learn about electrical ground with Adabot!
    Circuit Playground: G is for Ground
    1
    Beginner
    Build a Dragon Lamp with glowing Fire
    3D Printed Dragon Lamp
    6
    Beginner
    A boat propelled by two Archimedean screws, programmed with MakeCode to navigate a bathtub
    Archimedes' Boat
    3
    Beginner
    These DIY Crystal Gems will always save the day!
    Paper-Craft Crystal Gem Lantern
    5
    Beginner
    Get Circuit playground Express up and running in record time!
    Circuit Playground + CircuitPython Quickstart Guide
    4
    Beginner
    Build an illuminated fish that hangs from your ceiling and gracefully waves its fins
    Trash-Built Robotic Fish
    1
    Beginner
    Carry your own Blacklight Spotlight
    Personal UV HotSpot Parasol
    6
    Intermediate
    Navigate your marble through this robotically controlled maze!
    Tilt Controlled Marble Maze
    13
    Beginner
    Making images on oscilloscopes with DAC output and CircuitPython
    Making oscilloscope images with DACs
    2
    Beginner
    Shark mask that starts chomping in response to your voice!
    Sound Activated Shark Mask
    10
    Beginner
    Learn how to work with lights, sounds and touch sensors while recreating this popular game of the 1970s and 1980s!
    Simon Game Clone with Circuit Playground Express and CircuitPython
    1
    Beginner
    Let your Cosplay Magic Flow
    Glowing Interactive Crystal Staff
    7
    Intermediate