Hamsters are cute and lovable pets. It’s fun watching them in the cage as they nibble on their food, chase each other around or simply sit still as if in sleep. But much like bigger pets as dogs and cats, hamsters also need to play with toys. There are available hamster toys in pet shops and you can readily buy one if you like. However you need to continually buy new toys to keep up with your pet's stamina and level of energy, which could be costly.
To save money from frequent purchases, you can make your own hamster toys with these materials: tape, string, Lego blocks, scissors, cardboard tubes, (from toilet paper rolls), hard cardboard, colored markers or crayons, bits of wood, pieces of wood (one inch fat and four inches long), Lego trains, cloth (or leather) and glue gun. With these materials, you will be able to make these various toys:
Rocker or swing. Cut a piece of cloth from an old shirt or leather from an old shoe or bag. With a glue gun, stick both ends of these materials on bits of wood (around three inches long and one fourth inch fat). Make two separate stands by gluing pieces of wood together (one inch fat and four inches long) such that they form a T. Join the two stands at the bottom with a single piece of wood, still using your glue gun. Make two holes on both ends of the leather or cloth. Insert strings in the holes and tie them to the stand.
Labyrinth. Construct a maze-like structure with the Lego blocks. Just join the pieces together and align them side-by-side. Try to create zigzag or U-patterns for the hamsters to run around. Insert tiny flags in between and at the end points of the maze so you can observe if your pets can decipher the puzzle.
Train series. You can do a train series by using thick cardboard cutouts. You can fashion the cardboard into squares. Assemble them together with a tape. Make around four or five cardboard squares with small windows on both sides of each square. Make sure both ends of the train are open so the hamsters can enter and exit through them. However the windows should be smaller than the size of your hamsters so they won’t be able to pass through, hence forcing them to use the end openings.
Clubhouse. You can make a house for your hamsters too and label it “Club House”. The nice thing about doing your own hamster toys is that it also becomes playtime for you and you get to have fun as well. Use the toilet paper tubes as pillars. You can have four pillars, just like you would do for a real house. Let the tubes stand eight inches apart and glue them on a piece of thin wooden board. Place a roof over the columns or pillars and attach walls on the sides using hard cardboard. Cut small holes on the walls for the windows. You may decorate the house by gluing small pieces of colorful cloth on the windows to serve as curtains.
In making hamster toys, make sure you use only light materials. Never use steel or aluminum because they could be hazardous for your pets. Use of nails, tacks and pins should also be avoided to ensure the safety of these tiny animals.