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Home > Birds > 9 DIY Cockatiel Toys You Can Make Today

9 DIY Cockatiel Toys You Can Make Today

grey cockatiel opening its wings

Birds are intelligent creatures, and cockatiels are no exception. While they’re not the talkers like other parrots, they can communicate vocally and non-vocally 1.

Enrichment is critical for a ground-foraging bird that is always on the move. Survival challenges them and provides mental health benefits. It’s your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure your cockatiel has an interesting environment to prevent boredom and the resulting health issues. However, DIY toys can provide mental stimulation using everyday household items.


The 9 DIY Cockatiel Toys

1.  Noodle Toy

DIY Noodle Toy
Image Credit: jolynetanlm
Materials: Twine, colored paper pieces, dried pasta like fusilli
Tools: Needle, scissors
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Anything that is safe for your cockatiel is fair game for a toy. It’s all about the presentation. You can create this hanging toy with a piece of twine and a handful of dried pasta. Shapes like fusilli will make it more interesting for your pet with the different textures and shapes. Your cockatiel can munch on the pasta to add to the fun. You couldn’t ask for a more affordable DIY for your pet.

2. Toilet Roll Toy

Toilet rolls, twine, paper straws, assorted plastic beads, paper muffin liners
Tools: Pencil, scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

Toilet rolls make excellent containers for hiding treats and other toys. This cardboard toy gives your cockatiel something to chew. The hidden reward adds interest and provides additional mental stimulation. It’s a great way to recycle the rolls by using them for a practical and fun purpose. These items are cheap raw materials for other toys you can make for your pet.

3. Cardboard Ball

DIY Cardboard Ball
Image Credit: instructables
Materials: Toilet roll
Tools: Tape measure, pencil, scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

You can take a toilet roll and cut it into rings. Intertwining them gives you a makeshift ball for your cockatiel to play with, especially if you stick a treat or two inside of it. We like DIY toys like this one because they provide a mental challenge. Wild birds are faced with similar choices daily. This one holds the possibility of a tasty reward.

4.  Coconut Ring and Swing

Materials: Coconut, eye hooks, twine, store-bought swing
Tools: Screwdriver, hammer, file
Difficulty Level: Easy

You can string a cored coconut ring to provide a base for a swing and a small hiding place for treats in the same DIY project. Eye hooks provide the attachment for the swing or other chew toys. Adding an eye hook on the top allows you to attach it to the top of your cockatiel’s cage. You can make it more entertaining for your bird with treats or seeds in the opening of the coconut.

5. Popsicle Stick Ladder

DIY Popsicle Stick Ladder
Image By:
Materials: Popsicle sticks, twine, eye hooks
Tools: Drill
Difficulty Level: Easy

While cockatiels are ground foragers, they also spend time in trees and bushes. You can string popsicle sticks together to make a ladder for your bird to climb and chew. It’s a healthy alternative to similarly sized perches to strengthen your pet’s feet. The setup also adds interest. You can attach one to the top of your pet’s cage. The design is only limited by your imagination.

6. Tube Toy

Materials: Paper straws, coin wraps, twine, shredded paper
Tools: Hole punch, scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

You can easily make a hanging toy with paper straws and coin wraps instead of recycling them. Simply bore a hole in each one to string them on a piece of twine. Using different sizes will add interest to the toys. We like to add some treats, such as almonds or peanuts, to make our pets’ efforts worthwhile.

7. DIY Bead Swing

Materials: Wire hanger, wooden doll, assorted beads, hook
Tools: Needle-nose pliers, drill, wire stripper
Difficulty Level: Moderate

You can make a customized swing for your cockatiel, starting with a wire coat hanger. Again, it’s a matter of textures, which provides welcome mental stimulation. You can use beads of different sizes and shapes for added interest. We like this DIY toy since it has so many possibilities. Sometimes, cockatiels are not unlike cats. They get bored with the same thing, so make different ones to keep your bird entertained.

8. Puzzle Toy

DIY Puzzle Toy
Image By: instructables
Materials: Assorted puzzle pieces, twine
Tools: Drill, scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

We can’t think of a better way to repurpose a puzzle than making it a DIY toy for a bird, especially if it’s missing several pieces. You can run a string or piece of twine through the puzzle parts. The varying shapes will make it more interesting for your pet. Sure, they’ll probably chew them, but they’ll have fun doing it.

9. Wooden Ladder

DIY Wooden Ladder
Image By: hammyhappenings
Materials: Steel wire, wooden pegs, twine
Tools: Wire cutter, needle nose pliers, scissors
Difficulty Level: Moderate

You can use heavy twine, wooden pegs, and wire to create this wooden ladder for your cockatiel that your pet is sure to enjoy. It encourages natural behavior as it would in the wild to get around its habitat. Knowing how we liked them as kids, it’s not hard to imagine how fun it may seem to see a bird scaling up and down its length. You can also add a couple of them of varying sizes to your pet’s cage for more fun.



Your cockatiel doesn’t need fancy toys to give them something to do. Sometimes, the simplest things suffice. The bird’s natural curiosity will do the rest. Preventing boredom will keep your pet mentally fit. A lack of enrichment can cause a cockatiel to engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as feather plucking, so ensure they’ve got plenty to do!

Featured Image Credit: Jolanta Beinarovica, Shutterstock

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