Hamster toys are a necessity for two reasons. First, they provide your hamster with objects to chew so that your hamster can keep its teeth trimmed. Second they provide your hamster with stimulation, which is important for this curious, active pet.
Therefore a hamster toy is essentially anything that your hamster can safely chew on, crawl into, crawl on top of, crawl around, crawl underneath, or crawl into to hide inside. This leads to almost endless possibilities. You can use things that you already have at home; you can make things; or you can purchase a hamster toys.
The easiest things to start with are your household recyclables. Paper towel, toilet paper, and wrapping paper rolls all make great tunnels. Small boxes in which you have cut out some windows can also be suitable hamster toys.
Un-finished wood products that you can find at your local craft store are also good choices. The entrance hole of an un-finished birdhouse is just the right size for your dwarf hamster. Remember that your hamster would build himself underground burrows in the wild, so anything you provide him in which he can curl up into a small space is a plus.
Another way to use household refuse is to take advantage of plastic beverage bottles. Cut off the top and the bottom and, voila, you have an instant hamster tunnel.
You can give your hamster branches from fruit trees or willow trees on which to chew. You can also take the branches and weave them into different shapes. You could take larger branches and lean them against the walls of the cage, making a shallow ramp. This will provide footing for your hamster to climb. It is important that you verify that the tree is not poisonous before you cut branches from it for your hamster.
It can also be fun to hide a few sunflower seeds at different places inside the toys for your hamster to discover. You could even roll up some paper towels and put some sunflower seeds between the different layers.
Of course, you can always go to the pet store and buy some premade hamster toys. One of the best toys is a log or wooden block that has been hollowed out, and then has openings drilled at different places along its length. The interior of this block provides a cozy place for your hamster to rest. You can also buy spheres or homes built from Willow. You can purchase bridges made out of tiny branches. And, of course, there are a plethora of plastic toys that you can purchase.
Whether your preference is to make your own toys or to purchase toys, know that you are doing something good for your hamster. He needs to keep his teeth worn down because they grow continuously (just like our fingernails and toenails). He also needs an outlet for his curiosity and playfulness. Although hamsters cannot speak, your hamster would probably say “thank you, kind owner, for providing me such great toys!”