When you first bring a new hamster home the first thing you may want to do is go to the pet store and buy up all the neat looking toys and supplies for your hamster. The only problem with that is not every hamster is going to play with all the toys you buy for him so making a few at home will be fun for both of you and cost you less money.
Hamsters are chewers so whenever you start making your hamster toys you need to make sure to remember that and always use supplies that won't be harmful to your hamster if he chews them.
When using wood, always use wood that hasn't been treated with any chemicals, dyes or glues. You can use regular food coloring to the wood if you want to give it some color.
For this toy you will need a cage that has enough room to have a small wooden platform hanging inside the cage and a cage that has bars going across the top of the cage. First find a small square piece of wood or a stiff piece of strong cardboard and drill four small holes, one at each corner. Use four pieces of thin rope but not string as string may wrap around your hamsters legs or he may choke on it. Thread the rope through the holes and tie a small knot on one end that is on the bottom of the wood or cardboard, the other end should be tied to the top of the cage so the platform in hanging in the cage.
Your hamster may jump on this or he may just chew on it, either way if he does nothing with it after a few days take it out and try a different toy. Hamsters get bored with just one type of toy and their toys should be switched out every once in a while to keep them from getting bored. This will keep your hamster happy.
There are so many uses for the tubes from the toilet paper and paper towels that you will never run out of things to do with them. Here are just a few fun things you can do with them.
Fold the end of one toilet paper tube inward and fill the other end with hamster food or treats such as carrots, yogurt drops, apples, or pears. Fold the other end of the tube inward so the food is tucked inside the tube and put it inside your hamsters' cage. He will smell the food and start chewing the cardboard tube to get at the food. All perishable foods such as lettuce, apples and pears should be taken out of the cage if not eaten at the end of the day because they will rot and make your hamster sick.
Put four or five paper towel tubes with just a little hamster food inside each one on the floor and let your hamster run from one to the next. He will like the time outside of his cage and you will have fun watching him run in and out of the tubes.
Although you should not use real string for your hamster's toys, there are a few fun things you can use in place of string. For this food string you will need to have one large carrot and cut it length wise in square strips sort of like a long stick that you can load pieces of food onto like a shish kabob. When you have the carrots cut, then cut small pieces of apples, pears, boiled eggs ect, and push them onto the carrot stick you made. You may need to poke a hole in some of the foods so you don't break your carrot stick. Then give the carrot stick with the food on it to your hamster. Each stick should be about four inches long so you aren't wasting too much food and make sure to discard of any uneaten food at the end of the day.
No, don't let your hamster play in the paper shredder but you can watch him become one. Make sure to use paper that isn't treated with any dyes or ink as that can be harmful to your hamster. If you can find blank white paper you can put a half a page in your hamsters cage and watch them shred it faster than your paper shredder would and then play in it, use it for bedding or hide under it. Your hamster might even keep it in larger pieces for hiding under while he's sleeping. You can leave the shredded paper in his cage until he urinates on it. Never leave wet paper in a cage as it will not dry out easily and could make your hamster sick.
I do not mean you should take your hamster to a carnival no matter how much fun you think your hamster would have, but to make a carnival for your hamster right at home. You will need one of those little plastic kiddie pools without the water added to it, three empty cereal boxes, three cardboard tubes, and one empty shoe box. You will also need chinchilla dust which you may or may not have on hand but can buy at the pet store.
First thing is to make sure the kiddie pool is clean and free of dirt and water, then remove all plastic from the cereal boxes and cut holes large enough for your hamster to fit through in the sides of the cereal boxes. Place the cereal boxes and the cardboard tubes into the kiddie pool. Now take the empty shoe box and cut the sides down so your hamster can jump in and out of it on his own and fill it with chinchilla dust and then put this in the kiddie pool as well. Now get your hamster and put him in the kiddie pool and watch him play in his homemade carnival.
Hamster love to dig so the shoe box filled with chinchilla dust will keep him busy digging for a long time and since it's in the pool you don't have to worry about the dust getting all over your floor.
So there you have several cheap and easy home made toys you can make yourself. No matter what kinds of toys you make for or give to your hamster, they may or may not play with them. If your hamster is chewing like crazy on the bars of his cage, he is most likely bored out of his mind and wants something fun to do so go make him his own carnival to play in for a while.
Always be aware of how much time you let your hamster spend outside of his cage without food and water as well. You will love watching him play with his toys but make sure to let him take breaks as well so he can go to the bathroom, eat some food, get a drink of water or just rest.