What do Parakeets Like to Play With

what parakeet like playing with

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that keeping parakeets happy and engaged is not only a joyful experience but also essential for their well-being.

One of the keys to ensuring your pet parakeet’s happiness is understanding what they like to play with. These delightful birds, also known as budgerigars, have an innate sense of curiosity and a love for playtime.

As a devoted bird owner, I’ve spent countless hours researching and experimenting with various toys and activities to keep my feathered friends content.

What do Parakeets Like to Play With?

To ensure their happiness and well-being, it’s essential to provide them with plenty of opportunities for play and mental stimulation. But what do parakeets like to play with?

1. Variety of Toys

Parakeets love a diverse range of toys. Providing a variety of options can keep them engaged and prevent boredom. Here are some popular toy choices:

  • Swings: Parakeets adore swings, as they mimic the natural swaying motions they experience while perched on tree branches. Swing toys come in various sizes and materials, from wooden perches to colourful plastic designs.
  • Mirrors: Parakeets are famously social birds and enjoy the company of their reflections. Mirrors can entertain and stimulate them, although some may become overly attached, so monitor their interactions.
  • Bells: Small, colourful bells can be delightful for parakeets. The jingling sounds provide auditory stimulation, and the birds often enjoy playing with the swinging bells.
  • Puzzle Toys: These toys challenge your parakeet’s intelligence. They usually involve hiding treats or small objects inside, encouraging your bird to figure out how to access the hidden treasures.
  • Shredding Toys: Parakeets have an instinct to chew and shred. Providing toys made of safe materials like paper, softwood, or seagrass can keep them entertained while satisfying their urge to chew.

2. DIY Parakeet Toys

Creating your toys for your parakeet can be a fun and cost-effective way to provide entertainment. Ensure that any materials you use are safe for your bird.

Here are a few DIY ideas:

  • Paper Roll Toys: Simply stuff a cardboard paper towel or toilet paper roll with treats, and your parakeet will enjoy unravelling it to access the goodies inside.
  • Safe Wood Blocks: Parakeets love chewing on soft, untreated wood. You can create a simple hanging toy with wooden blocks and a piece of string.
  • Feathered Friends: Attach colourful feathers to a piece of string or twine and hang it in the cage. Your parakeet will enjoy playing with and preening these feathered toys.

3. Interactive Play

Parakeets thrive on interaction, and there are several ways to engage with them:

  • Training Games: Teach your parakeet tricks or commands using positive reinforcement. These sessions can be mentally stimulating and strengthen your bond.
  • Social Time: Parakeets are social creatures and enjoy spending time with their human companions. Let them out of the cage for supervised playtime and interaction.
  • Talking and Singing: Parakeets are known for their mimicry skills. Engage in conversations or sing songs to your bird, and they may start mimicking your words or tunes.

Can I Make DIY Toys for My Parakeet?

You can make DIY toys for your parakeet, and it’s a creative and cost-effective way to provide entertainment for your feathered friend. DIY parakeet toys can be both fun to create and engaging for your pet.

Here are some simple ideas for making DIY parakeet toys:

1. Paper Roll Toys

One of the easiest and most popular DIY parakeet toys involves using cardboard paper towels or toilet paper rolls. Simply stuff these rolls with treats, like millet sprays or small pieces of fruits and vegetables.

Your parakeet will enjoy the challenge of unravelling the roll to access the goodies inside.

2. Safe Wood Blocks

Parakeets have an instinct to chew and shred. You can create a hanging toy by stringing untreated, soft wooden blocks together. Ensure that the blocks are non-toxic and safe for your bird to chew.

3. Feathered Friends

Attach colourful feathers to a piece of string or twine and hang it in the cage. Parakeets love playing with and preening these feathered toys.

You can find safe, bird-friendly feathers in some pet stores or online.

4. Beaded Creations

Create a simple hanging toy by threading bird-safe beads onto a piece of twine or string. Be sure to avoid beads with sharp edges or toxic coatings.

Your parakeet may enjoy playing with and moving these colourful beads around.

When making DIY toys for your parakeet, always consider their safety. Ensure that the materials you use are non-toxic, and avoid small parts that could be swallowed or pose choking hazards.

Additionally, regularly inspect the DIY toys for wear and tear, and replace them as needed to prevent any potential injuries.

DIY toys not only provide mental stimulation but also offer a sense of novelty as you can change and customize them to suit your parakeet’s preferences. Creating these toys can also be a fun and interactive activity that strengthens the bond between you and your feathered friend.

What are The Safety Guidelines for Parakeet Toys?

trim parakeet nails

To cater to their instincts and prevent boredom, it’s crucial to offer a range of stimulating toys.

However, safety should always be your top priority.

1. Non-Toxic Materials

When purchasing or crafting parakeet toys, prioritize materials that are non-toxic and safe for birds. Avoid toys made with lead, zinc, or other harmful chemicals, as these can pose severe health risks to your parakeet.

Opt for items explicitly labelled as bird-safe.

2. Size Matters

Ensure that the toys you provide do not have small parts that could be swallowed or cause choking hazards.

Parakeets are small birds, and their toys should be appropriate for their size. If a toy has components that seem too small, remove them or consider an alternative.

3. No Sharp Edges

Inspect toys for any sharp edges or points. Parakeets may inadvertently injure themselves while playing.

Sand down or modify any potentially hazardous areas on wooden toys, ensuring that they are smooth and safe.

4. Sturdy Construction

Choose toys that are well-constructed and durable. Parakeets are enthusiastic chewers, and flimsy or poorly made toys can break apart easily, leading to ingestion of harmful materials or choking hazards.

5. Regular Inspection

Frequently examine your parakeet’s toys for signs of wear and tear. As toys degrade, they can become dangerous. Remove any damaged or broken items promptly.

6. Avoid Strings and Threads

Be cautious with toys that feature long strings, threads, or loops. These can entangle your parakeet or pose a choking risk.

If your parakeet enjoys playing with stringed toys, always supervise their interactions.

Why Is It Important to Rotate Parakeet Toys?

Over the years, I’ve discovered the significance of keeping my parakeets entertained and mentally stimulated.

One practice that has proven to be a game-changer in ensuring their happiness is the regular rotation of toys.

1. Preventing Boredom

One of the primary reasons I rotate my parakeets’ toys is to prevent boredom. Parakeets are incredibly intelligent and curious birds, and they need mental stimulation to stay content. When they’re exposed to the same toys day in and day out, I’ve noticed that they can quickly lose interest.

This can lead to undesirable behaviours like excessive preening or feather plucking. By regularly introducing new toys or even bringing back “old” ones that have been out of sight for a while, I’ve kept their curiosity alive and prevented the onset of boredom.

2. Novelty and Exploration

Parakeets, just like us, appreciate novelty and new experiences. They love exploring new objects in their environment. When I bring in a new toy, I can see the excitement in their eyes.

They immediately start to investigate and interact with it, as if it’s a brand-new discovery. This sense of novelty stimulates their minds and provides them with fresh challenges to conquer.

3. Encouraging Play

Rotating toys also encourage play, which is crucial for my parakeets’ physical and mental well-being. I’ve noticed that when I introduce a new toy, they become more active and playful. It’s as if they’re reinvigorated by the novel item in their cage.

This increase in activity not only keeps them healthy but also deepens our bond as I join in their playtime.

4. Cognitive Stimulation

Different toys offer diverse challenges, from puzzles to foraging toys. The mental exercise they get from solving these challenges keeps their minds sharp and active.

It’s like a puzzle-solving adventure that keeps them engaged and prevents the onset of boredom-related stress.

5. Preventing Over-Attachment

I’ve learned that parakeets can become overly attached to specific toys. While attachment is sweet, it can sometimes lead to territorial behaviour and stress if that toy is removed or damaged.

By rotating toys regularly, I’ve managed to reduce the risk of my parakeets becoming overly fixated on one item.


My parakeets, with their insatiable curiosity and boundless energy, have taught me that play is more than just a pastime. It’s an essential aspect of their lives that affects their physical and mental well-being. By providing them with the right toys and activities, I’ve witnessed their happiness, health, and vibrant personalities shine.

From swings that mimic their natural environments to mirrors that satisfy their social inclinations, my parakeets have embraced a variety of toys. DIY creations, such as paper roll toys and safe wood blocks, have added a personal touch to their playtime. Watching them engage with these items has brought me immense joy and a profound sense of connection.

I’ve also come to understand the importance of safety when it comes to parakeet toys. Non-toxic materials, careful size considerations, and the absence of sharp edges are crucial to ensure their well-being. Regular inspection and supervision have become second nature to me, ensuring that their playtime remains risk-free.

Written by Justin Michaels

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