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What Do Parrots Do for Fun?

(Last Updated On: September 1, 2023)

Parrots are flock animals that enjoy spending time with their favorite humans. Their high intelligence levels and active, fun-loving personalities mean they like playing games.

If a parrot is left alone while you’re at work, it’ll need fun things to do in its cage.

Parrots love to climb, explore, and forage. They must also chew and shred objects to wear down and sharpen their beaks. If you find the right show, parrots can watch TV to pass the time.

Replace and vary 1-2 toys (not all) in its selection to keep a bird challenged and engaged.

When you return home, let the parrot out of its cage and interact together. Parrots like to learn tricks and play games to get human attention. You can even let the parrot fly on a harness.

How Do Parrots Pass the Time in Their Cage?

Parrots spend most of their day in a cage, especially while owners are away from home, for their safety.

While pet parrots are usually born in captivity and accept being caged, these clever birds must be entertained, especially if they lack a same-species companion.

If a parrot grows bored in its cage, it can display a range of unwelcome behaviors. Boredom causes significant stress in parrots, so a bird may start screaming and plucking its feathers.

There are ways to keep pet parrots entertained while you’re not around, including the following:


Parrots are skilled climbers who enjoy scaling their cages as a recreational activity. They use their beak as a third limb, gaining a foothold on a bar when pulling themselves up using their strong beaks.

A bird will enjoy climbing more if you hang interesting toys and delicious food at the top of the cage.

games to play with parrots


Wild parrots spend most of their waking day searching for food. While a pet parrot will doubtless appreciate the reliable routine of being fed twice a day, it’ll maintain a desire to search for food.

Make a parrot’s day more fun by putting food around the cage for the bird to track down.

Playing with Toys

Toys are crucial because they provide physical exercise and mental stimulation. Examples of toys that can be added to a parrot’s cage are as follows:

  • Swings, ladders, and ropes enable a parrot to climb without using the cage bars.
  • Chew toys from parrot-safe wood (pine, fir, cork, elm, and bamboo wood are non-toxic).
  • Puzzles that need to be turned, twisted, or moved to open, especially in conjunction with foraging.
  • Noisy toys, like rattles and small bells.
  • Balls and other small toys the parrot can roll and move around the cage.

Some owners include mirrors in a parrot cage, but Zoology warns that some parrot species (like budgies) fail to recognize their reflection. This can lead to mate confusion and aggression.

Chewing and Destroying

Add cardboard or a telephone directory to the parrot’s cage if a bird enjoys tearing things apart. This will present an enjoyable challenge to access, keeping a pet bird occupied for hours.

Parrots are instinctively driven to chew, which keeps their beaks worn down. As well as chew toys, consider adding a cuttlefish bone to a bird’s cage.

Cuttlefish bone is tough and edible, so a parrot will enjoy chewing while benefitting nutritionally.

According to the Korean Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, cuttlebone is a good source of calcium carbonate, so it’s good for parrots’ bones, eggshells, and overall health.

Watching TV

Watching TV is a popular way to unwind, and many parrots will enjoy the social aspect of watching shows with you. You could also leave the TV on for parrots to watch to prevent loneliness.

Ethology believes that parrots respond to recorded audio similarly to physical interaction.

Avoid nature shows for parrots, as the sight of predators and their vocal calls may frighten a bird. Don’t play loud action movies because sudden noises startle and scare parrots.

Parrots enjoy non-threatening shows, so children’s TV, a vintage sitcom, or game shows are good options. Parrots will listen attentively, learning to say an oft-repeated catchphrase they hear many times.

Fun Things To Do with Parrots At Home

While parrots can amuse themselves during the day, you should interact with a parrot one-on-one whenever possible. Parrots are social animals that relish the companionship of bonded humans.

Anthrozoös explains that some bird owners consider the bond shared with their pet superior to that of a cat or dog, but parrots don’t offer unconditional love akin to a canine.

Parrots must spend at least 2-4 hours outside their cage each day, which should be spent indulging in fun activities. The more time you spend with a parrot, the more you’ll be rewarded.

Teaching Tricks

You can use additional time outside the cage to teach a parrot to perform tricks.

As intelligent birds, parrots like to learn and develop new skills, and many species are natural show-offs who revel in entertaining owners.

Use the “step up” command when encouraging a bird to move from its perch to another or onto your hand or shoulder to transport them around the home.

Parrots can be taught to take a bow. Stand a few feet from a parrot holding a treat and circle the cage, repeating the command “turn around” as the parrot follows you. Once this is mastered, lower the treat and use the command “bow.” The parrot will drop its head to maintain eye contact with its reward.

“Play dead” can be a helpful trick to teach a parrot. Encourage the parrot to step onto your finger and move your hand up and over so it ends on its back.

A parrot may not like this initially, but with a command and reward, it’ll understand what’s necessary. This trick is more than just cute because it can be beneficial if you need to restrain a parrot.

Teaching a parrot to dance will be enjoyable for you and the bird. Play some music the parrot enjoys and move to the beat. A parrot will watch you intently and mimic your movements.

Eventually, the bird will start to dance of its own accord. Current Biology explains how parrots are the only animal to spontaneously move their body according to a rhythmic beat.

fun things to do with parrots at home

Playing Games

Parrots love to play games with their owners. You’ll soon learn what a parrot responds best to, but here are some of the best games to play with parrots:

  • Fetch and retrieve. Parrots like to play fetch with a ball or other object. This game also means you can teach a parrot to fetch small items around the house you can’t reach.
  • Hide and seek. Take a parrot to an unfamiliar room and hide. Call out to the parrot, and it’ll follow your voice, seeking you out.
  • Basketball. If you purchase a desktop basketball hoop, a parrot can be taught to dunk the ball. Drop the ball through the hoop as your parrot watches, so it’ll want to join in.
  • Tug of war. Many parrots enjoy a tug-of-war game with a rope toy.
  • Tag. Tell the parrot that you intend to chase it and wriggle your fingers so the bird expects to be petted if caught. Then, follow the bird around the home.
  • Chess. Hide a snack under a series of chess pieces, and watch with fascination as the bird deliberates over which move to play by knocking over the piece and gaining its reward.

Playing games can cement a bond with a parrot, but take a break if a bird shows signs of frustration, tiredness, or overstimulation.

Outside Time

Parrots need natural sunlight to flourish, so spending time together in the yard if it’s safe. There’s no need to clip a parrot’s wings to prevent escape. Just get a parrot harness so it can fly without getting away.

While a parrot is outdoors, play games or set up an obstacle course for the bird to negotiate.

Safety precautions must be followed if you play with a parrot outside.

Secure the area, ensuring no neighborhood cats can access and attack your parrot. If you live in an area with birds of prey, letting a parrot fly on a harness isn’t an option.

Parrots are fun-loving birds that require mental and physical stimulation. If you provide fun things for pet birds to do, you’ll be rewarded with a happy and contented parrot.