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!

    Blinky bikey fun!
    Circuit Playground Bike Light
    16
    Beginner
    LED smarter, not harder
    Sipping Power With NeoPixels
    50
    Advanced
    All you need to know to get coding with Microsoft MakeCode
    MakeCode for Circuit Playground Express
    62
    Beginner
    Revisiting the Olde Days of television and radio
    Circuit Playground Express (& other ATSAMD21 Boards) DAC Hacks
    10
    Intermediate
    Make the most of your NeoPixels on the Circuit Playground!
    NeoPixels with MakeCode
    29
    Beginner
    Turning left? Turning right? Let Circuit Playground help with blinking lights!
    Circuit Playground Bike Glove
    17
    Intermediate
    Build a fidget spinner that has no moving parts with Circuit Playground!
    Digital Fidget Spinner
    8
    Beginner
    A guide to using sensor data and events in MakeCode
    Sensors in MakeCode
    18
    Beginner
    Measure the speed of a fidget spinner with Circuit Playground's light sensor!
    Fidget Spinner Tachometer
    14
    Beginner
    Make a fancy, color changing Pixie Dust Bag with Circuit Playground Express!
    NeoPixie Dust Bag with Circuit Playground Express
    17
    Beginner
    During your Circuit Playground Express into a remote control. Or control it using an IR remote control
    Infrared Transmit and Receive on Circuit Playground Express in C++
    15
    Intermediate
    Share your code with the world
    Creating and sharing a CircuitPython library
    17
    Intermediate
    Use infrared IR transmission to blast your targets -- all made with Circuit Playground Express!
    Circuit Playground Express Laser Tag
    14
    Beginner
    Create a full scale tone piano using CircuitPython, capacitive touch and some cute little fruits.
    Circuit Playground Express: Piano in the Key of Lime
    11
    Beginner
    Learn how to control digital inputs and outputs with CircuitPython!
    CircuitPython Basics: Digital Inputs & Outputs
    17
    Beginner
    Learn how to control analog, or continuous voltage, values with CircuitPython!
    CircuitPython Basics: Analog Inputs & Outputs
    22
    Beginner
    Learn how to talk to I2C and SPI devices with CircuitPython!
    CircuitPython Basics: I2C and SPI
    33
    Beginner
    Explore some new features in CircuitPython 2.0.0 with nothing but your board and one wire!
    CPU Temperature Logging with CircuitPython
    11
    Beginner
    Make faster and easier than ever with MakeCode, code.org CSD, CircuitPython or Arduino!
    Adafruit Circuit Playground Express
    164
    Beginner
    Just sync like they do it in the wild
    Fireflies with MakeCode
    5
    Beginner
    Learn about porting an Arduino library to CircuitPython with the VL6180X distance sensor.
    Porting an Arduino library to CircuitPython: VL6180X Distance Sensor
    7
    Advanced
    Two piece snap fit case for Circuit Playground
    Case for Circuit Playground
    25
    Beginner
    Add electronics to cheap Halloween props!
    Glowing Smokey Skull
    14
    Beginner
    Move your body to play Minecraft!
    CircuitPlayground Minecraft Gesture Controller
    6
    Intermediate