20 DIY Bird Toy Ideas

Looking for new and exciting activities for your small parrot? This article will showcase 20 DIY foraging toys that you can easily make at home for a low price. You’ll learn exactly how to make these homemade toys using everyday household items and a bit of creativity. Whether you have a cockatiel, budgie, conure, or another small parrot, these toys are perfect for you.

4) Paper Plate Foraging Tray

Looking for a simple and quick DIY foraging toy for your parrot? Try using a paper plate! This easy-to-make toy requires only a few materials and less than a minute of your time. Simply take an organic paper plate, place it somewhere in your parrot’s cage, and fill it up with treats and foraging material. Your bird will have a blast searching for their rewards and you’ll have a happy and entertained feathered friend.

14) Small Enclosed Cardboard Foraging Box

If you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive way to entertain your bird, consider making a small enclosed cardboard foraging box. This toy provides mental stimulation and encourages natural foraging behaviors.

To create this toy, you can either fold cardboard pieces into a box shape or use an already made cardboard box. Consider using household items such as tea bag boxes to save money.

Poke holes around the box and fill it with shredded paper or other bird-safe materials. Connect the box to your bird’s cage using a quick link connector.

While you can purchase a pre-made foraging box from a pet store for around $15.90, making one yourself can cost under $10. Plus, you can customize the size and shape of the box to best suit your bird’s needs.

Overall, a small enclosed cardboard foraging box is a simple and effective way to provide mental stimulation and encourage natural behaviors in your feathered friend.

17) Bamboo Finger Traps

Bamboo finger traps can be used in various creative ways to keep your pet bird entertained. One way is to hang them on the cage using a quick link connector. To make it a foraging toy, you can stuff shredded paper inside and make small holes all around. Another option is to stick a branch of millet spray through the finger trap to encourage shredding. These traps can also be added to foraging trays to make them more interesting. By using bamboo finger traps, you can provide your bird with a fun and stimulating environment.

12) DIY Plastic Water Bottle Foraging Toy

To create a simple and affordable foraging toy for your bird, you can make a DIY plastic water bottle foraging toy. This toy requires an empty plastic water bottle and shredded paper. The size of the water bottle can be adjusted based on your bird’s size and preferences.

To make the toy, fill the plastic water bottle with shredded paper and create a few holes on the sides for easy access to the paper. To hang the toy in the cage, make a hole near the bottle cap and use bird-safe rope, such as sisal, hemp, or leather, to tie it to the cage. Ensure that your bird cannot reach or eat the rope to avoid crop impaction.

This foraging toy is a great way to keep your bird entertained and mentally stimulated. Plus, it’s an easy and affordable DIY project that you can create in no time.

15) Tissue Box Foraging Tray

If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to promote foraging activities for your parrot, consider using a tissue box. After using up all the tissues, poke a few holes around the bottom of the box and fill it up with foraging material. You can then place the tissue box forager on the floor or playstand of the cage and watch your parrot rip it apart. It’s a simple and effective way to provide your bird with mental and physical stimulation.

20) Coloured Shredded Paper

Coloured shredded paper is an excellent way to enhance the foraging experience for your parrot. It adds a pop of color to their usual foraging tray, making it more visually appealing and engaging. You can easily find coloured paper at most stores that sell office supplies, or you can purchase it online.

When choosing coloured paper for your parrot, it’s essential to ensure that the dye used is bird-safe. You can check the packaging or do some research to confirm that the dye used is non-toxic and safe for your feathered friend.

In addition to coloured shredded paper, there are many other safe materials that you can use to make DIY foraging toys for your parrot. These materials include balsa wood, cardboard, paper, newspaper, bamboo, rattan wood, seagrass, leather, pine, untreated sisal, untreated hemp, untreated cotton, and stainless steel.

However, some materials should be avoided when making homemade bird toys, including rubber, zinc, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, metal, lead, copper, paints, glue, toxic woods, poop-covered materials, tobacco, and anything else that you’re not 100% sure about.

Remember, these materials are safe for your parrot until they start eating them. If your bird begins to consume any of these materials, you should remove them immediately to prevent any harm.

In summary, coloured shredded paper is a simple and inexpensive way to add some color and excitement to your parrot’s foraging tray. As long as you use bird-safe materials and avoid any potentially harmful ones, making DIY foraging toys can be a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your feathered friend.

7) Food Bowl Foraging

Looking for ways to add enrichment to your bird’s feeding routine? Consider adding foraging opportunities to their food bowl. Sprinkling a few seeds or topping off the bowl with shredded paper can increase foraging difficulty and provide mental stimulation for your bird. Watch as they throw out the foraging material to get to their food, engaging in natural behaviors and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Give it a try and see how your bird responds to this fun and interactive feeding method.

16) Straws as Foraging Material

Bird-safe straws, such as bamboo and paper straws, are great for filling up foraging toys. Plastic straws are not safe for birds, but they are getting banned in Australia, so it is unlikely that you will find any of these if you live there. You can cut paper straws into smaller pieces and add them to the homemade foraging tray to provide a more varied foraging experience. Bamboo straws can also be used for shredding, which parrots always enjoy. These types of straws are safe for making homemade bird toys and can be used as foraging material to keep your bird entertained and mentally stimulated.

1) Cereal Box Foraging Tray

A cereal box foraging tray is a simple and inexpensive DIY toy that you can make for your parrot. To make this toy, all you need is an empty cereal box. Cut off one of the long faces on the box and shorten the walls all the way around the box. Fill the tray with foraging material and your parrot’s favorite treats. You can place the foraging box on the bottom or top of the cage or on a flat tabletop for your bird to play. This toy provides mental stimulation and encourages natural foraging behaviors in your parrot.

19) Your Birds’ Dropped Feathers

Your bird’s dropped flight feathers can serve as an excellent addition to homemade foraging toys. By collecting your bird’s moulted feathers, you can have a readily available stash to include in some toys. They are best added to DIY foraging trays or poked through other foraging toys. However, allowing parrots to play with their moulted feathers could possibly lead to feather plucking, which has been reported by a few bird owners. If you choose to do this, be mindful and make sure to remove moulted feathers from their environment if they begin to show abnormal behavior.

Parrots often like to chew the ends of their moulted feathers as well as searching through them to find treats. It is important to note that while it is a fun activity for them, it should be done with caution. By incorporating dropped feathers into foraging toys, you can create a stimulating and engaging activity for your bird while also ensuring their safety and well-being.

18) Wooden Pegs Foraging Material

Wooden pegs are a versatile and inexpensive foraging material that can be used in various ways to keep your bird entertained. These pegs can be used as standalone toys for shredding or can be added to foraging trays or other toys to make them more challenging.

To use wooden pegs as foraging material, it’s best to remove the metal spring in the middle by pulling the two pieces of wood apart. This will make it easier for your bird to access any treats hidden inside the pegs.

One creative idea is to clip a lot of pegs to the cage and hide treats in only a few of them. This will encourage your bird to search for treats and keep them engaged for longer periods of time.

Overall, wooden pegs are a great addition to any bird’s toy collection and can provide hours of entertainment and mental stimulation. Give it a try with your birds and see how they enjoy it!

8) Carrot Forager

Encouraging your parrot to forage for food can be both fun and healthy. One effective way to do this is by using carrots as a foraging tool. To get started, make a few holes, openings, and gaps on the carrot and stuff some seeds inside. Hang the carrot from the top of the cage using a stainless steel skewer. Make sure to place some seeds in easy-to-find locations on the carrot to motivate your parrot to forage for more.

This method not only promotes foraging behavior but also encourages healthy eating habits. It can also be applied to other similar vegetables such as zucchini and asparagus. By incorporating this simple technique into your parrot’s diet, you can provide them with a fun and engaging way to obtain their food while promoting their overall health and well-being.

9) Broccoli Forager

Encouraging your parrot to forage for broccoli can be a fun and healthy activity. Unlike the carrot forager, the broccoli forager doesn’t require any modifications to the vegetable. Instead, you can attach the broccoli head to the cage with a skewer, with the head facing upwards. This allows you to easily insert treats into the broccoli florets. Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable that is great for your bird’s health, and having seeds around will encourage your bird to eat it. This toy can also be used with cauliflower, providing your bird with a variety of healthy options to forage.

10) Bamboo Spoons, Knives, or Forks

Bamboo cutlery is a popular choice for making foraging toys for your bird. These items are relatively cheap, and most parrots enjoy chewing on them. Although the cutlery itself can’t be turned into a foraging toy, it can be added to homemade foraging trays or foraging balls for extra fun. Breaking up the items is also a good way to add smaller pieces of wood to a foraging tray. To make a foraging toy with bamboo cutlery, drill a hole through the top and quick link it to the cage for your bird to shred. This is a simple and effective way to provide your bird with entertainment and mental stimulation.

2) Egg Carton Foraging Box

Looking for a simple and inexpensive way to create a foraging toy for your parrot? Look no further than your kitchen! By repurposing an egg carton, you can create a fun and engaging foraging box for your feathered friend.

To make the foraging box, simply remove the top of the egg carton and fill each egg-holding bottom with your bird’s favorite foraging material. You can also trim the long end of the carton to make the toy smaller for smaller parrots.

This DIY foraging box is a great way to keep your parrot mentally stimulated and entertained, while also providing a fun and unique way to use household materials. Give it a try and see how your parrot enjoys it!

6) Folded Paper Ball Forager

A simple yet effective foraging toy that you can make at home is a folded paper ball. To create this toy, take multiple pieces of paper and fold them into each other while adding seeds between each layer. Then, poke a few holes all the way around the ball. You can make it as thick and as big as you like, but keep in mind the size of your bird. If you have a small parrot, you wouldn’t want to make it too big.

This toy is highly customizable, and you can add bamboo cutlery or some old toy parts poking out of the ball to make it more interesting for your bird. It’s great for the floor of the cage, or you could poke a hole through the paper and connect it to the cage with a quick link. Usually, you can add them to other foraging trays to provide your bird with more options for play and exploration.

Overall, the folded paper ball forager is a simple and affordable way to provide your bird with mental stimulation and entertainment.

5) Medicine/Pill Bottle Forager

You can create a fun foraging toy for your parrot using a clean, empty hard plastic pill bottle. First, drill some holes into the sides of the bottle and fill it with foraging material. Then, place the bottle on the floor of your bird’s cage. If you prefer to hang it up, drill two small holes next to each other on the lid, leaving a solid gap for a quick link connector to link it to the cage. This simple toy provides your bird with mental stimulation and encourages natural foraging behaviors. Just be sure to properly wash out the pill bottle before using it.

11) Old Toy Parts

Don’t throw away old toy parts! Clean and broken toy parts can be repurposed for future DIY foraging toys for your parrot. This is especially useful for toys with lots of little parts that easily break. For example, you can repurpose wood sticks that fell off super shredder ball toys. Simply add the remains to the foraging box on top of the cage. Before you discard any toy part, think about how it could be repurposed into future foraging toys for your feathered friend. This not only saves money but also provides your parrot with new and exciting toys to explore.

13) Large Shoebox Foraging Box

Repurposing an old shoebox as a large foraging box is a great way to provide your bird with an engaging activity. The spacious size of the shoebox allows for the addition of a variety of foraging materials, such as shredded paper, bamboo spoons, old toy parts, and other bird-safe materials. Consider adding a small perch inside the box to provide your bird with a place to jump in and forage.

Due to its size, the shoebox foraging toy is best kept on a tabletop as it may not fit in the cage. It is important to ensure that the shoebox you use is dust-free, germ-free, and hygienic for your parrot’s health and well-being. With a little creativity and effort, you can easily create a fun and stimulating foraging experience for your feathered friend.

3) Paper Cup Forager

A paper cup can be turned into a fun and cheap foraging toy for your small parrot. By making a few holes on all sides of the cup and filling it up with foraging material, your parrot can enjoy searching for treats. If you want to attach the cup to the cage, simply make another hole near the top and attach it using a quick link connector. If you don’t have any quick links, you can easily purchase a pack of stainless steel links on Amazon. These links are extremely useful for DIY toys and can be used for other types of bird toys as well. With just a few simple steps, you can create a fun and engaging toy for your feathered friend.


Creating DIY foraging toys for your small parrot is a great way to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. By using simple materials such as cardboard, paper, and natural fibers, you can create a variety of toys that will challenge your bird’s problem-solving skills. Incorporating different textures and hiding treats within the toys will keep your parrot engaged and happy. Always supervise your bird when they are playing with toys and replace any damaged or worn toys to ensure their safety.

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