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!

    Have the Grinch come out of the fireplace!
    Motorized Grinch Fireplace
    Beginner
    This scrap cardboard contraption launches ping pong balls in quick succession
    Ping Pong Ball Launcher
    9
    Beginner
    Pass the hot potato to keep meetings efficient!
    Meeting Time Keeper Stick
    2
    Beginner
    10...9...8...
    NYE Circuit Playground Drop
    2
    Beginner
    Experience sunrise and sunset over your city at your command
    Illuminated City Skyline with MakeCode
    5
    Beginner
    Build a Touch Sense Lamp from a Coffee Cup!
    Adventure Time Coffee Cup Lamp with MakeCode
    7
    Beginner
    A customizable music box that starts playing when opened
    Music Box with Dancing Adabot
    5
    Beginner
    Make a tutu that responds to your dance moves with Circuit Playground Express and MakeCode
    Dance-Reactive Tutu Sparkle Skirt
    9
    Beginner
    Go for a stroll through the popular programming language for beginners, featuring an artsy demo!
    Scratch 3 Walkthrough and Demo
    5
    Beginner
    Program or Re-Program a SAMD Bootloader
    How to Program SAMD Bootloaders
    6
    Intermediate
    Learn how to create Garnet's fusion from Ruby and Sapphire using Circuit Playground Express!
    Cartoon Network MakeCode: Garnet's Palm Gems from Steven Universe
    3
    Beginner
    Build a rainbow archway using glue sticks as light pipes
    Glue Stick Light Pipe Sculpture
    27
    Beginner
    MakeCode and Crafting Fusion!
    Pearl's Gem Weapon – Steven Universe
    1
    Beginner
    A Special Gift to Make Her Fall in Love with Making
    Circuit Playground Powerpuff Girls Valentine
    2
    Beginner
    Make your own Lucky Cat or Lucky Pig using papercraft and a few parts
    Lucky Cat with Circuit Playground Express
    Beginner
    Build punch reactive Garnet's Gauntlets using Circuit Playground Express and MakeCode
    Cartoon Network MakeCode: Garnet's Gauntlets from Steven Universe
    1
    Beginner
    An easy way to learn CircuitPython!
    Using EduBlocks with Circuit Playground Express
    2
    Beginner
    Build Roses' Shield
    Rose's Shield - Steven Universe
    Beginner
    For screen capture and livestreaming, you can place your own camera view inside of MakeCode
    How to Use Video Greenscreen in MakeCode
    4
    Beginner
    ...that's why the people of this world believe in Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, and Steven!
    Getting Started With Steven Universe
    1
    Beginner
    Build a robotic marionette out of scrap materials using CRICKIT and CircuitPython
    Crickit Dancing Marionette Kit
    9
    Beginner
    Fuse Your Maker Skills
    Obsidian Sword – Steven Universe
    2
    Beginner
    3...2...1... NeoPixels! A fun, kid-friendly lighting project.
    Circuit Playground Express Rocket Lamp
    Beginner
    Everything CRICKIT can do, all in one project!
    CRICKIT Exhibit Demo Board
    7
    Beginner