Home » Are Baby Toys Safe for Parrots? [5 Bird-Safe Options]
can parrots play with baby toys?

Are Baby Toys Safe for Parrots? [5 Bird-Safe Options]

(Last Updated On: November 28, 2022)

Parrots are clever animals and need lots of enrichment, so toys are a non-negotiable element of their care. Traditional parrot toys can be surprisingly expensive, so baby toys are a cheaper alternative.

For parrots, wooden baby toys like blocks or beads are recommended, as they keep the beak worn down, polished, and sharp. Young parrots also enjoy sharing their cage with stuffed animals.

Parrots enjoy reflections and noise, so consider baby mirrors, rattles, and other noisy toys such as bells or xylophones. Your parrot will enjoy vocalizing to any music it creates on an instrument.

Parrots also love to shed paper, so thin books will provide lots of fun.

Plastic and rubber baby toys shouldn’t be placed in a parrot’s cage, as they’re usually made from cheap and flimsy materials that may be toxic or cause a choking hazard.

Baby toys should be removed from a parrot’s cage when they show signs of age, and never introduce a baby toy to a parrot’s cage unexpectedly.

Do Parrots Need Toys?

As intelligent birds, parrots need near-constant stimulation while in their cage.

This means that toys are an essential addition to your parrot’s environment. Without entertainment, parrots will grow increasingly bored, withdrawn, and depressed.

Companion Animal stated that toys that provide visual and aural stimulation and the opportunity to forage are the best form of entertainment.

You could also consider baby toys for your parrot as a low-cost alternative that’ll provide stimulation and entertainment for your pet. Not all baby toys are safe for parrots, so you must choose carefully.

Can Parrots Play with Baby Toys?

Choosing appropriate baby toys for a parrot’s cage can greatly add to a bird’s habitat. The ideal baby toy for a parrot’s cage will be:

  • Colorful – Parrots are drawn to bright colors.
  • Tough – Parrots will chew toys and batter them around, so they need to be sturdy.
  • Stimulating – Any toy in a parrot’s cage will need to occupy your bird intellectually.

Safety precautions must also be taken under advisement, such as ensuring the parrot won’t choke on any debris or otherwise hurt itself playing with the toy.

can you use baby toys for parrots?

What are the Best Baby Toys for Parrots?

If you wish to bring baby toys into your parrot’s life, ensure you choose the best toys possible. Here are five types of baby toys for parrots:

1/ Wooden Blocks and Beads

Wooden toys are among the best additions to a parrot’s cage outside traditional bird toys.

Parrots will enjoy chewing on these toys, sharpening and filing down their beaks, and the wood should be sturdy enough to withstand such attention.

Wooden toys tend to be pretty big too, which is helpful. Blocks, for example, are at least the size of a parrot’s head, if not larger. Even beads on a sturdy string are large enough to avoid choking.

Even though a parrot is unlikely to swallow a wooden toy whole, be mindful of the risks of toxic materials. That means avoiding cedar, pine, or synthetic fibers on strings that host beads.

2/ Soft Toys

As explained by the American Federation of Aviculture, many parrots love soft toys. They’re an alternative to the parrot’s mother for young parrots, as they can be cuddled for warmth and comfort.

Adult parrots enjoy having stuffed toys in their cage. Your parrot will grow curious and explore, potentially befriending or playfighting with the stuffed animal. Just be wary of a parrot’s destructive tendencies.

Left alone with a stuffed animal, a parrot may start tearing the toy apart. When the toy’s innards are exposed, remove it from a cage and throw it away.

3/ Mirrors

If your parrot is social, it’ll love mirrors. Parrots don’t recognize their reflection, so they assume another bird is in the cage. For some parrots, this will be exciting, although ensure your parrot doesn’t grow territorial or aggressive. If this happens, remove the mirror.

Baby mirrors, such as those found on a mobile that hangs above a cot, are ideal for parrots. The glass in these mirrors is much tougher than a traditional alternative, ensuring your parrot remains safe if it pecks at the mirror.

4/ Bells and Rattles

Noisy toys will always be a winner with parrots. Any baby toy that includes a bell that can be nudged, or rattles that can be shaken to make sounds, will capture your bird’s imagination.

If your parrot’s cage is big enough, you could include a small instrument, such as a baby xylophone. Pecking at the keys will create a range of unique noises.

5/ Crinkle Books and Paper

As an extension of a parrot’s love for noisy toys, consider adding crinkly toys to a cage.

Your parrot will play with these, growing fascinated by the sounds they make. Crinkly books are also quite sturdy and will withstand the attention of a parrot’s beak.

You could also place a traditional children’s book in a parrot’s cage. Parrots love to shred cardboard and paper, and a children’s book will be thin and printed using non-toxic ink.

What Baby Toys Should Parrots Avoid?

One of the biggest selling points of offering parrot baby toys instead of traditional bird toys is the cost.

However, cheap toys purchased from a dollar store, or used toys, can be dangerous. Here are baby toys parrots should avoid:

Threadbare or Damaged Used Toys

Used baby toys are not necessarily a problem for your parrot. Just clean these toys thoroughly before giving them to your parrot. Use a vinegar solution or put them through the dishwasher.

Only consider used baby toys for a parrot if they remain in excellent condition. Babies and parrots can be destructive, making used toys dangerous.

Rubber Toys

Rubber toys will be soft and bouncy, appealing to a parrot. Rubber is also very soft, so if your parrot starts tearing these toys apart, they quickly become a choking hazard.

You may consider this a strange point, as many commercial parrot toys are made from rubber. These will be crafted with more care, rather than the cheap and disposable rubber associated with baby toys.

baby toys for parrot cage

Cheap Plastic Toys

Plastic baby toys tend to be made from cheap, disposable materials.

This means they’re likelier to contain toxic materials if swallowed. Unless you are sure a plastic toy is made from acrylic, keep it out of a parrot’s cage.

The flimsy plastic in baby toys will easily chip away when your bird chews at it. As well as toxicity, this opens up the risk of choking.

If your parrot swallows a shard of plastic without choking, it’ll struggle to digest it.

How to Introduce Baby Toys to Parrots

Once you have baby toys for your parrot, you’ll understandably be keen to introduce them to your pet. This is inadvisable, as parrots are easily startled by new things.

Placing toys in a cage unexpectedly will result in fear, not excitement.

Before introducing new toys to a parrot, leave it somewhere the parrot can see it. This could be on a table out of reach of the parrot or even in a different room.

Leave the toy in its place and don’t interact with it. You’ll likely find that your parrot watches the toy intently, showing an evident distrust. When the parrot finally starts to relax, bring the toy closer, but not too close to the cage.

Eventually, your parrot will pluck up the courage to interact with the toy while exercising outside the cage. Once this happens, hold the toy in your hand while you approach the cage.

Once the parrot has shown that it is completely over any fear of the toy, you can leave it in the cage. Never leave a toy in the cage before this point.

Baby toys can be a good addition to a parrot’s cage. They’re a cheap alternative to official parrot toys; most birds will enjoy playing with them.