This page will tell you everything you need to know to get started with the Embedit Circuit Playground Inventor’s Kit. The Inventor’s Kit will walk you through several activities that teach you Physical Computing with Scratch! You’ll be lighting up RGB LEDs, getting light, sound, and touch sensor readings, and a whole lot more in no time.
You can get an intro to using Scratch over at the Scratch website. There you can make projects, or play with and edit other people’s projects to get yourself familiar with it. You can also follow the tutorials built into the Scratch program, which will help familiarize you with the basics. In addition to Scratch, the Circuit Playground also supports Arduino and Python Firmata. If you have a Circuit Playground, but didn’t buy it from Embedit, you can install the Scratch firmware by following this tutorial.
All you need to do is download our Scratch Connection App from the Google Chrome Web store. This plugin allows the Circuit Playground board to communicate over USB on your computer with Scratch. Right now, our kit is supported in the Google Chrome web browser for Windows 7,8,10, Chromebook, and macOS. If you don’t have chrome, get it here.
First, plug in the Circuit Playground board to your computer with the USB cable. Next you need to launch the Embedit Scratch connection app in the Chrome browser. You can find the app in the Chrome app launcher. Type or copy the following into the address/search bar at the top of the Chrome window:
Next, open up the Embedit Scratch Connection App. You should see a window pop up that says “Circuit Playground Connected” with a picture of the Circuit Playground board. If you don’t, consult the troubleshooting section at the bottom. Finally, click the “Open Scratch” button. This will take you to a blank Scratch project where you can start experimenting! You can go back to the Scratch Connection app by clicking on the Embedit “E” logo in your task bar at the bottom of the computer screen. Make sure you don’t minimize or close the Scratch Connection App or the Scratch blocks might become unresponsive. On the Mac you’ll need to make sure the Scratch Connection App is visible on your screen or the Scratch blocks might slow down.
Note: You can bookmark the apps page by clicking the star on the right side of your address/search bar. You can also make a desktop shortcut by right-clicking on the Embedit icon on the app page menu.
Scratch Blocks – Learn what each of our Scratch Blocks do.
You can select from a few different projects right in the Scratch Connection App. Other projects will be listed below as they become available.
Blank Project – A template project with the Circuit Playground blocks loaded.
Neopixels 1 – Shows you the basics of using the Neopixel RGB LEDs on the Circuit Playground and Neopixel Matrix.
Touch Piano – Use the Circuit Playground’s touch sensors to create a simple 4 key piano.
Flappy Bird Touch – The massively popular Flappy Bird brought to Scratch! By default the game uses the space bar to flap the bird. How can you make it use the Circuit Playground’s touch sensor so that you can flap the bird with a banana instead? While you’re at it, hack the game to beat the high score, or to become invincible, the code is all there.
Accelerometer Game – Fly the Scratch Cat by tilting the Circuit Playground! Learn how the game works and how to modify it.
Advanced Scratch Extension – Advanced Neopixel Scratch blocks that allow for variable usage. Recommended for those who have some basic programming experience.
Circuit Playground reference picture – Download and print out this handy picture which shows the locations of the sensors on the Circuit Playground.
Going Further – Want to step up from Scratch? Follow our tutorial to set up your Circuit Playground to use Arduino or Python Firmata.
Changelog – Changelog for the Circuit Playground Scratch firmware.
If the Circuit Playground Scratch Connection App shows disconnected, try hitting the small reset button (labeled “RESET”) in the middle of the Circuit Playground. You can also try plugging the Circuit Playground into a different USB port. See our Scratch blocks page for Scratch specific support.
If you have a problem getting set up, feel free to post in the comments section below.