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!

    Press the button to play sound!
    CircuitPython Sound Box
    23
    Beginner
    Build your own safe hidden in plain sight to store valuables -- and rig an intrusion detector with Circuit Playground Express!
    Secret Hollow Book Intrusion Detector
    8
    Beginner
    Motion Reactive LED Costume Ears
    Bunny Ears with MakeCode
    6
    Intermediate
    The next step in learning CircuitPython.
    CircuitPython Essentials
    69
    Beginner
    How to wire up and use the MCP230xx I2C I/O extender with CircuitPython!
    Using MCP23008 & MCP23017 with CircuitPython
    10
    Beginner
    *pew* *pew* Take out TVs with your Circuit Playground!
    Circuit Playground Express TV Zapper
    13
    Beginner
    Spy themes are just cool. Code songs in MakeCode or CircuitPython so you can have one at the ready at all times!
    Spy Theme Playback Device
    11
    Beginner
    Shine bright at your next convention or maker event!
    Con Badge with Circuit Playground Express
    2
    Beginner
    Program a Circuit Playground Express to teach yourself perfect pitch!
    Perfect Pitch Machine
    8
    Beginner
    A quick overview of installing MakeCode for local use or development.
    Installing Microsoft MakeCode for Adafruit
    8
    Intermediate
    Make a modern, futuristic instrument!
    The Tilt Trumpet
    7
    Beginner
    Plot all the things!
    Sensor Plotting with Mu and CircuitPython
    35
    Beginner
    Customize your Nintendo Labo Piano with Circuit Playground Express!
    Labo Piano Light FX
    5
    Beginner
    A gentle guide for choosing a controller for your project
    How to Choose a Microcontroller
    16
    Beginner
    Make your BOSEbuild speaker have AMAZING reactive sound!
    BOSEbuild Reactive Sound
    8
    Beginner
    Customize your Nintendo Labo RC Car with vibration-triggered underglow
    Labo RC Car Action Lights
    1
    Beginner
    Build a simple slider crank driven mechanism controlled with Circuit Playground Express
    Slider Crank Mechanism -- from Cardboard and Craft Sticks
    12
    Beginner
    Fun beginner's project for Circuit Playground Express
    Snake Charmer Box
    21
    Beginner
    Build a cardboard garage with working garage door for your tiny cars or robots!
    Pushrod Garage
    7
    Beginner
    Build your own animated version of Starry Night
    Living Starry Night Painting
    19
    Beginner
    Build a flying claw with Circuit Playground and Makecode!
    Drone Claw
    12
    Intermediate
    Make your robot pal who's fun to be with using Crickit!
    Introducing Adafruit Crickit #MakeRobotFriend
    51
    Beginner
    Get started with just a few lines of code!
    CircuitPython Made Easy on Circuit Playground Express
    44
    Beginner
    Build a cardboard animatronic hand with independent finger control using CRICKIT robotics controller board!
    Animatronic Hand
    20
    Beginner