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!

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    Makey Paper Craft
    6
    Beginner
    Adorable Hugging Panda Friend
    Trash Panda
    8
    Beginner
    Allows your plants to let you know when they need a drink.
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    22
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    A simple walking robot that teaches basic programming skills
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    17
    Beginner
    Forget finding an old CRT, R.O.B. the Robot can be controlled by you!
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    Step right up and build a robot that rides a unicycle on a tightrope!
    Tightrope Unicycle Bot
    15
    Beginner
    Build a paper craft hack a day logo powered by Circuit Playground!
    Spinning Logo
    7
    Beginner
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    Beginner
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    Beginner
    Interact with CircuitPython Code from within a Jupyter Notebook
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    14
    Advanced
    Make glowy slime for fun projects!
    Glowing Slime Lunchbox
    9
    Beginner
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    Crickit Carnival Bumper Bot
    17
    Beginner
    If your project needs to move, here is the guide to assist you.
    Make it Move with Crickit
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    Beginner
    Use vintage toys as modern fun with Crickit!
    Automation with Crickit and Capsela
    1
    Beginner
    Build a robot eye that looks in any direction!
    Crickit Controlled Animatronic Eyeball
    12
    Beginner
    Talking Sparky guides you when you are wiring things up
    Sparky the Blue Smoke Monster Automaton
    4
    Beginner
    Do you feel like singin' the blues but don't have time for music lessons? No problem! You and your buddies can jam the blues on a Circuit Playground Express without a rehearsal!
    Blues Playground
    Beginner
    CNC mill a custom PCB for Circuit Playground Express
    Touch Tone for Circuit Playground Express
    8
    Beginner
    Make an interactive miniature golf course
    Mini Golf Course with Circuit Playground and Crickit
    12
    Beginner
    Eyes that move, wings that flap! Build your own owl robot!
    Crickit Powered Minerva Owl Robot
    9
    Beginner
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    AdaBox 008
    26
    Beginner
    When your microcontroller needs to accurately read if a switch is flipped
    Make It Switch
    19
    Beginner
    Build a mini golf hole with crushing hammer hazard!
    Hammer Time Mini Golf Hazard with Crickit
    4
    Beginner
    Tuples, Lists, and Dictionaries! Oh My!
    CircuitPython 101: Basic Builtin Data Structures
    11
    Intermediate