Parrots love to play. They love to learn. They love to solve puzzles. They like to be entertained.
In that sense, they are no different than us.
For this reason, it’s important that we provide our parrots with lots of mental and physical stimulation. Not only is mental and physical stimulation good for your parrots mental and physical health, but it also prevents your parrot from becoming bored.
Anyone who owns a parrot knows that a bored parrot is a nasty parrot. Parrots that are bored can become angry and can engage in behaviors like biting, screaming, and feather plucking that they would not normally engage in.
They can also become very destructive when bored. So what types of toys do they like?
When it comes to toys, parrots are not picky. They enjoy a wide variety of toys from simple balls to more complex puzzles. Anything that provides your parrot with mental and/or physical stimulation is considered a good toy for your parrot.
Today we will talk about 25 different types of toys that your parrot may take interest in.
Many of the types of toys we will talk about you can get at a pet store or online.
Let’s not waste another minute:
- 1 Balls
- 2 Bowling
- 3 Popsicle sticks
- 4 Pull toys
- 5 Swings
- 6 Bells
- 7 Musical toys
- 8 Baby toys
- 9 Puzzles
- 10 Wooden toys
- 11 Homemade toys
- 12 Shreddable toys
- 13 Chew toys
- 14 Rope
- 15 Cuddle toys
- 16 Destructible toys
- 17 Foraging toys
- 18 Preening toys
- 19 Push and Pull toys
- 20 Foot toys
- 21 Climbing toys
- 22 Moving toys
- 23 Natural/Organic Toys
- 24 Play gyms
- 25 Shiny and reflective toys
We just mentioned above that parrots don’t just like complex toys, they also like the simple toys.
Just as you would buy your dog a ball and play fetch, you can do the same with your parrot.
Teaching your parrot to play a game of fetch is easy but unlike your dog you can teach them lots of other things too.
When it comes to your parrot you can buy different sizes of balls and play a wide variety of games with them.
Parrots can learn anything from hide and find the ball to basketball (hoop sold separately).
If you’re looking for a toy that is both mentally and physically stimulating, you can buy your parrot their very own miniature bowling set.
Depending on the size of your parrot, you may be able to buy them a set of child-sized plastic bowling pins (if your parrot is larger). If your parrot is smaller, there are actual bowling sets designed specifically for parrots.
These sets come with a few small pins and a ball that is attached. The parrot then navigates the ball to try to knock down the pins – hours of entertainment!
Get a parrot bowling set from Amazon by clicking here.
If you’re looking for cheap forms of entertainment for your parrot, it doesn’t get much cheaper than popsicle sticks.
And the best part? Your parrot will love them just as much as a more expensive toy.
You can purchase popsicle stick toys in pet stores, or you can make your own by attaching a series of popsicle sticks to a cotton thread.
Popsicle sticks are easy for parrots to grasp and can help to ease boredom. Parrots love to chew on them!
Pull toys are toys that come along with a variety of pieces for your parrot to, well, pull.
These can be purchased in most pet stores and are great for relieving boredom.
They are also excellent for aggressive parrots. Pull toys allow parrots to take their anger out on toys as opposed to people and other pets.
They are generally made from bright color pieces to attract the parrot and give the parrot the opportunity to engage in rough play.
Most parrots love to swing. Not only do parrots enjoy the movement of swinging but many also enjoy the flow of air that goes through their wings and feathers when swinging.
Swinging is a natural parrot behavior that they can often be found doing in the wild. Branches provide parrots with the perfect opportunity to swing but swings can also be bought in the pet store.
You can buy regular swings or multi-functional swings that also contain bells or chewable pieces.
You can get swings from most pet stores or online.
If you haven’t noticed, parrots love making noise. The more noise a parrot can make the happier they will be.
So if a toy makes noise, your parrot will be thrilled.
What makes more noise than a bell?
Parrots are intrigued by the noises that bells make, as well as by all of the moving parts within them.
As an alternative to bells you can also hang a few spoons in your parrots cage and let them clang those together as chimes.
As we just mentioned, parrots love anything that makes noise – so the fun doesn’t stop at bells. If it can make any kind of music, your parrot will love it.
You can give your parrots children toys to play with (like baby pianos), just make sure that they don’t take out the batteries.
If giving your parrot toys with batteries, always make sure that you are supervising!
Balls with bells or beads inside are also a great noise making toys for your parrots entertainment.
Our last point brings us to our next point – baby toys.
There are dozens of baby toys out there that your parrots will love to play with. Musical instruments, balls, rattles, fabric books, colorful toys, puzzles – these are all things that you can buy for your baby and share with your parrot!
Again, just be sure to supervise if providing your parrot with any battery-operated toys. It’s unlikely that they would take out the batteries but better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure to check out our article, Can Parrots Play With Baby Toys? for a more in depth look
Parrots don’t only need physical stimulation, they also need mental stimulation.
One of the best ways to work out a parrots brain is to provide them with puzzles.
Again, baby puzzles work the best. Parrots also love to play with wood, so if you can find wooden puzzles like these ones on Amazon, those are the best choice.
Puzzles of 5-10 pieces work best for parrots and puzzle pieces should be on the larger size.
If the puzzle pieces have a handle to hold, that also makes it easier for your parrots to grasp.
As we just mentioned, parrots love to play with wood.
There are dozens of different wooden toy options out there for parrots – from swings and perches to chew toys and puzzles.
You can also make your own wooden toys, just be sure that the wood you use is safe for parrots.
There are a lot of woods that are parrot safe (like pine and birch), but there are also many types that are not safe (like Hemlock and Oak).
Be sure to do your research before providing your parrot with any homemade wooden toys.
Who said you have to spend a fortune to entertain your parrot?
Yes, there are lots of store-bought toy options out there, but there are also a lot of parrot toys that you can make on your own.
You can make your own parrot toys from a variety of different materials including ropes, coat hangers, wreaths, plants, branches, cardboard boxes, books – the list goes on and on.
Like most pets, parrots have a need to chew. Not only does chewing help to keep your parrot entertained, but it can also help to keep their beak sharp.
Shreddable toys can help to fulfill this need and keep your parrot entertained at the same time. You can buy a variety of different wooden chew toys for your parrot at a pet store.
Alternatively, you can create your own shreddable toys from materials like egg cartons and corn husks.
Of course, a toy does not have to be shreddable for parrots to enjoy chewing on it.
Any type of chew toy will help to keep a parrot busy while at the same time fulfilling their natural need to chomp.
In the wild, parrots use natural materials to sharpen and hone their beak. In captivity, you must provide them with these materials.
You can use chew toys made from natural materials like wood and branches, or you can use more synthetic materials like plastic or PVC.
Rope is a very versatile toy that your parrot can play with.
You can use rope for physically stimulating activities like swinging or for mentally stimulating activities like untying.
Birds love to untie knots so if you give them a good rope tied in a tight knot you can keep them entertained for hours.
The best part?
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a rope – it’s yet another cheap form of entertainment.
Cuddle toys are exactly what they sound like – toys made from soft, fuzzy materials that your parrot can cuddle up with.
These toys are generally attached to the side of the parrot cage and are used to help comfort your parrot to sleep.
Cuddling may not be the first thing you think about when talking about parrots, but in the wild most parrots do enjoy physical contact with their mate.
Since they don’t have this physical contact in captivity, cuddle toys can help.
If we want to find what types of toys parrots can benefit from, we need to take a look at their behaviors in the wild.
In the wild, parrots can be quite destructive (and in the home too!).
Though they aren’t intentionally just destroying everything, parrots often chisel away at things to create nests or to search for food.
For this reason, it’s important to provide them with toys that they can destroy (so that they don’t destroy your home instead).
Toys made from wood, rawhide, and other soft materials that can be torn apart are a great way to keep your parrot entertained – and your home safe!
In the wild, parrots spend much of their day searching (or foraging) for food.
For this reason, foraging toys are very important to your parrot’s well-being. Foraging toys are essentially toys that make your parrot work for their food.
Perhaps your parrot has to maneuver different parts to retrieve their food, or maybe they need to solve a puzzle before they are rewarded with food.
Whatever the method, foraging is not only a great way to keep your parrot entertained but also an essential part of their natural activities.
Another thing that parrots do often in the wild is preening themselves and others. This is the act of straightening and cleaning their feathers with their beak.
Parrots have a tendency to preen themselves regularly but can also benefit from preening toys.
Preening toys are those made from things like peacock feathers, cloth strips, or leather.
The more textures you can provide your parrot, the better. Preening toys are not only great for relieving boredom, but also relieving stress.
Push and Pull toys
In the wild parrots are constantly pushing and pulling things out of the way to look for food.
Push and Pull toys can include any type of toy that has pieces that slide, that move up and down, that can be pulled or twisted, or that can be twirled.
Busy boards are an excellent example of push and pulls toys.
If you want to be more simplistic, you can hide food among branches, twigs, or plants and allow your parrot to “push and pull” them out of the way to search for their food.
So far in this article we’ve talked a lot about toys that a parrot can use with their beaks but it’s also important that parrots work out their feet.
There are a lot of different toys out there that are designed for parrots to be able to pick up and hold with their feet. Any toy that is suitable for grasping can be considered a foot toy.
Popular foot toys include wooden pieces, rattles, holy balls, and plastic toys.
Some parrots may even roll on their backs and wrestle with their foot toys between their feet.
Just as parrots need sufficient mental stimulation, they also need sufficient physical stimulation.
Not only can physical stimulation keep you parrot from getting bored but it can also help to keep them healthy and at an ideal weight.
Climbing toys can include anything from ropes, to ladders, to swings, and nets. Most of these things can be purchased in a pet store or made from simple materials in the home.
Moving toys is a pretty broad category and can include anything from ping pong balls to cars and bikes.
It simply entails any type of toy that your parrot can push into motion when they are bored.
Again, children’s toys work great for this purpose. Toy cars or trains are great entertainment for parrots and if your parrot is the right size, they can even ride along while you push!
It’s okay to provide your parrot with plastic toys or children’s toys but you also want to make their living environment feels as natural as possible.
This can mean incorporating natural toys into their play (like wooden toys), or providing them with things like branches, flowers, and plants where they can create their own play.
Play gyms are like mini playgrounds for your bird.
They can include anything from climbing ladders, to swings, to slides, and other fun physical activities.
Play gyms can be purchased in all different sizes for your parrot, as well as different materials.
Whenever possible, opt to go natural with wooden play gyms. The more natural materials you can incorporate into your parrots environment, the more at home they will feel.
Shiny and reflective toys
Have you ever given your parrot a mirror to look at themselves?
Parrots are one of the few animals in the world (aside from humans) that have self-awareness. In other words, when a parrot looks at its own reflection, it understands that it is looking at itself.
And boy do parrots love to look at themselves in the mirror!
Whether it be vanity or fascination with the mirror itself, parrots can entertain themselves for long periods just by looking in the mirror. They also enjoy any other type of shiny or reflective toys.
In conclusion, there are lots of different types of toys that you can provide to keep your parrot entertained. And the good news is, most of these toys are toys that you can create yourself from cheap dollar store materials. But remember, you are your parrots favorite toy. Just because you provide your parrot with plenty of toys does not mean that you don’t have to pay attention. Play with your parrot as often as possible for a happy, well-rounded bird.