To make the next step beyond an introductory Arduino, to explore different sensors, and to do pretty things with lights, it would be hard to beat the Adafruit Circuit Playground. This board is ready to let a student explore common sensors without even needing to break out a breadboard, much less a soldering iron. And it’s delivered in a wearable-friendly package; the Circuit Playground might have everything your next interactive costume calls for already built in.
This board comes loaded with full-color LEDs and built in sensors. It’s got a built in accelerometer, a temperature sensor, light sensor, a switch, two buttons, and a speaker. And all this comes for a price that’s cheaper than many bare-bones microcontrollers.
The Circuit Playground comes in a clothing-friendly circular shape, free from sharp edges that get caught on cloth. Its large connectors are ringed around the outside, with holes through the middles onto which you can easily tie conductive thread or snap an alligator clip. A JST connector for batteries completes the wearable-friendly design.