One of the best toys you can give your bunny which is not only free but has an almost limitless supply is the humble toilet roll tube. From simply stacking them up so your bunny can knock them down and toss them around to snuffing them with hay and hanging them down with bits of string the toy you can make are only limited by your imagination.
To help give you some ideas we have made a load of toilet roll toys and tried them out on our bunny to see what he thought of them. In this guide we show you step by step how we built them and give you our bunnies opinion of what he thought of them.
Each example can be made in a few minutes, so start collecting old rolls and try making some for yourself.
If your bunny like chew on twigs, then a great way of making them more interesting is to push then through a toilet roll to make a twig tree. This will help keep them together in one place, off the floor and stop them being pushed to the corners of the room, where interest in them can be quickly lost. Remember not all wood is good for bunnies so check it OK first or buy them from a pet store so you know they are OK for your bunny to chew on.
Take the toilet roll and push a pencil or other pointed implement through one side and out the other.
Push the twigs through the holes and repeat in a different place.
This toy was a success with our bunny, he enjoyed tossing it about and within a few hours had chewed some of the sticks down to the roll where he would usually only nibble at them. We got the willow sticks from a pet store but going forward we will source our own. The only concern with this toy was that it could cause a problem if a careless bunny were to run in to it and poke themselves.
The only problem with giving your bunny treats is they often don't last very long. A way to keep your bunny amused for longer is to hide them in a toy like a treat tumbler. It may take a while for your bunny to get the hang of this at first but when their natural foraging instincts take over and they work out pushing the roll around makes treats coming out they will always go back to it.
Take the toilet roll and cut a small hole in the middle a bit bigger than the treats you are putting inside
Take a sheet of paper or tissue and ball it up then wedged it into one end of the toilet roll
Tip some treats into the open end of the tube, no need to fill it up just put in the same amount you would use for a treat, it can always be refilled
Finally take another ball of paper or tissue and block the other end up
When we gave this to our bunny he loved it at first but soon lost interest in pushing it around when the treats started ran out. The next time we gave it to him he simply chewed his way into it which was fun while it lasted.
If you don't mind a bit of mess and want to encourage your bunny to eat more fiber then a fun toy can be made out of a ball of hay covered with strips cut from a toilet roll tube. It probably won't last very long but will be fun for your bunny tossing it about and breaking in toit.
Take the roll and cut it into 1 inch strips, this should leave you with about 5 rings.
Take a hand full of hay and make it into a ball about the size of your fist.
Slide a ring over the ball, you want it to be quite a tight fit or it will fall apart quite quickly.
Repeat in different direction till the hay is covered up and it makes a ball.
Although this toy was quite tricky to make, it lasted a surprisingly long time when we gave it to our bunny. We thought it would simply be ripped apart, but he enjoyed knocking it about and chewing the hay poking out the sides. It made a lot more mess then simply stuffing a toilet roll with hay though!
A simple way of providing an engaging toy and getting your bunny to eat their hay is to stuff the hay into a toilet roll. Its best to use course hay otherwise it can simply fall out. We found it was helpful to fold in the ends of the roll to prevent the hay coming out too easily.
Take a hand full of hay, you are going to need enough to fill the roll. You can make this fit more securely by folding the hay over a few times.
Next take the toilet roll and push the hay inside so it fits firmly.
Lastly to stop the hay coming out to easily take your thumb and push down on the edge of the roll at the ends so it folds in making the opening smaller.
Our bunny quite liked this toy when we tried it out on hem, probably because of the hay which he could pull out and make a mess with. It was simple to make and was more interesting than just a toilet roll on its own.
If you really want to give your bunny a special treat you could try making a hanging toy. If you set this up just above your bunnies head height it guaranteed to keep your bunny amused reaching for it. We stuffed the roll with treats hay and even some greens and hung them of clothes dryer.
Take a pencil and make a small hold halfway along the tube.
Next pass a length of string through the hole and tie it off on the inside so it won't pull through.
Next stuff the toilet roll with some hay, greens or other treats.
Next find somewhere to hang this so it dangles down at head height
This was probably one of the best toys we have made for our bunny. Every time he came in the room, he would go up to it and have a little nibble. Although it takes some setting up it was worth the effort and is a toy we would make again. The only down sides was the mess that it made and we were a bit worried he may get tangled up in it so we only used it when we could supervise this.
Bunnies love to knock things down, turn things over and toss them about. The simplest things to do with a few toilet rolls is to stack them up on top of each other. Now all you have to do is wait and eventual the temptation will become too much, and you bunny will inspect them and knock them over. Once your bunny gets the hang of this, this game that can go on for just about as long as you want to play it.
All you need to do is build the stacks up, wait and your bunny will not be able to resist knocking them over.
We always have lots of fun playing this game, it seems our bunny cannot let them stay standing in the room for very long and feels compelled to knock them down then toss them about. We did admittedly hide some treats under them to make this more fun. It worth having a stack of these for when you want to sit on the floor and play with when they get tired of petting.
A simple toy you can make that will keep your bunny busy foraging is to pack a bunch of toilet rolls inside another toilet roll so treats can be wedged inside the folds at the ends. Simple but effective.
Take the first toilet roll then roughly fold another roll along its length and slide it inside.
Repeat this until the first roll is packed out will a number of rolls leaving a few gaps.
Finally push some treats into the folds at each end.
This toy was a lot more fun than the treat tumbler we built, and the smell of treats kept our bunny interested. Surprisingly he didn't just eat the treats be also enjoyed tossing it about as well. We keep all the toilet roll tubes in our house and tend to leave them on the floor for our bunny so this was also a good way of tidying them up when he was getting bored of them.
If your bunny likes to reach up and tug at things for instance pulling magazines on coffee tables then this toy could be for you. By cutting a toilet roll in a spiral you can make a simple kind of spring that can be placed just above your bunnies head height so your bunny can reach up and tug on it.
Take the roll and start cutting into one edge at about 15 degrees.
Continue cutting in a spiral till you have made spring like shape.
You can just leave this out as it is, but it's more fun to hang it down just above head height.
We tried this toy out on our bunny and although easy to make he soon lost interest and eventually is was left untouched. We tried hanging it down but compared to the hay rolls didn't prove interesting so we left it on the floor where our bunny tried to toss it about, but he didn't seem to find this much fun either.
Bunnies love playing with toys they can toss about that they can make a noise with and this toy does both. It's a simple idea to slice up a load of old toilet rolls tubes then thread them on a string however the toy has a lot of appeal. It's also a good way of keeping the mess together and as the rings get munched off you can keep adding more.
Take the toilet roll tubes and cut them into slices about 1 inch across.
Cut a length of sting about 8 inches long.
Thread the slices onto the string and tie the ends together.
Out bunny loves noisy toys so liked playing with this and got quite animated tossing it about. It was also good for us as we could leave it out at night as the rustling it made was not so loud that it will keep us up compared to some of his other store-bought rattles and balls with bells in.