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!

    So simple, everyone can build this cute crawling bot and make it move with MakeCode!
    Cardboard Circuit Playground Express Inchworm Robot
    9
    Beginner
    Step right up! Build a miniature version of the popular carnival ride.
    Crickit Powered Mini Chair Swing Ride!
    3
    Beginner
    Snakes that glow and writhe and slither
    Animatronic Glowing Medusa Headdress
    5
    Intermediate
    Rock a bunch of NeoPixels with this custom lightweight wearable!
    LED Harness Bra
    34
    Intermediate
    Make spooky, pumpkiny sounds this Halloween!
    Jack-o-Theremin
    3
    Beginner
    Need the teacher's attention? This solder-free project makes it easy!
    CircuitPython Powered AT Hand-Raiser
    1
    Beginner
    Collect all the pixie lights with magic and Circuit Playgorund
    Magic Light Bag of Holding
    5
    Beginner
    Turn the dials to 11 by writing CircuitPython modules in C.
    Extending CircuitPython: An Introduction
    7
    Advanced
    Create a fun game of chance with MakeCode and Circuit Playground Express
    Circuit Playground Express Spinner Game in MakeCode
    5
    Beginner
    A chromebook works just as well as other computers for using MakeCode and CircuitPython!
    Using Circuit Playground Express, MakeCode and CircuitPython on a Chromebook
    2
    Beginner
    Make a moving gift box with re usable components!
    Motion Gift Box
    5
    Beginner
    How to install the UF2 bootloader and CircuitPython on a variety of SAMD21 microcontroller boards.
    Installing CircuitPython on SAMD21 Boards
    5
    Intermediate
    Add voice to your projects
    Make It Talk
    7
    Beginner
    A talking turkey that comes to life
    Thanksgiving Robotic Turkey Hand with Circuit Playground Express and Crickit
    Beginner
    MIDI goes wireless & around the world
    What is Web MIDI & BLE MIDI?
    5
    Intermediate
    Illuminate your artwork with Circuit Playground Express
    Glowing Neopixel Resin River Table
    19
    Intermediate
    Explore the interesting MicroBlocks programming environment by making a winter ornament.
    MicroBlocks Circuit Playground Express Ornament
    2
    Beginner
    Make and learn with this course on MakeCode and Circuit Playground Express
    MakeCode Course for Circuit Playground Express
    6
    Beginner
    Let Rudolf and his crew ride above town! Featuring a Santa Adabot!
    Crickit Powered Holiday Diorama
    3
    Beginner
    Rolling for Hanukkah chocolate is even more fun with a programmable dreidel that flashes when it spins!
    CPX Mystery Dreidel
    1
    Beginner
    Create a map that plays audio clips when different areas of the map are touched
    Interactive Map with Circuit Playground Express
    10
    Beginner
    Use your Android phone to debug and edit code on your Circuit Playground Express.
    Using the Android CircuitPython Editor
    8
    Intermediate
    Uncover all the keyboard shortcuts for commands in the Mu editor
    Mu Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheets
    5
    Beginner
    Dance the cold away with this wacky snowman!
    Crickit Powered Dancin' Snowman!
    2
    Beginner