Toy making made_easy_phoenix_landing_2012 fixed


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Phoenix Landing presentation from Dec 9, 2012 in Annapolis Maryland

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Toy making made_easy_phoenix_landing_2012 fixed

  1. 1. www.phoenixlanding.orgPhoenix Landing presents:Created by:Debbie Russell, MD Adoption CoordinatorPresented by:Laura Ford, MD Education Coordinator
  2. 2. www.phoenixlanding.orgNot every toy is 100% safe for every parrot. As the owner, youneed to supervise your parrot with each new toy you purchase ormake yourself. Phoenix Landing, Debbie Russell and Laura Fordtakes NO responsibility if your parrot gets hurt from a toy thatyou make.Some parrots can not have safe wood because they ingest it.Some parrots can not have plastic because they ingest it.Some parrots can not have toys with chains because they wrapthem around their heads.You as the parrot owner you need to know your parrot. They are astudy of one.
  3. 3. Toys are a part of an overall program called "environmental enrichment" Environmental enrichment is the means of providing activities to occupy time and outlets for energies A parrot in the wild spends most of it’s day:  Foraging for food  Flying  Chewing branches  Playing/Interacting with their mates and other parrots  Protecting their nest sites Parrots in our home are given their food in bowls at the end of their perches, are locked in their cages 8+ hours a day when we go to work – not much energy is being used in captive parrots – It is up to each parrot owner to provide their companion parrot with substitute activities to prevent boredom from creating destructive behaviors like:  Plucking/Self Mutilation/Feather Destruction  Screaming  Biting/Aggression  Chewing on household items A parrot with LOTS of toys is a HAPPY parrot!!
  4. 4. High energy Low energy Manipulators Buzz Saws Weavers Gathers Acrobats Hide & Seekers Companions
  5. 5. High energy  Parrots that are always on the move  May or may not be serious chewers  Tend to be rambunctious and sometimes mischievous  They like to do battle with their toys  In their exuberance they may forget to keep their balance and then blame their toy Low energy  These are the parrots that are perch potatoes  Peaceful and sedate  Tend to be more detail-oriented  Some are heavy chewers, many are not  Prefer to have toys within easy reach, and may not go out of their way to reach a distant toy  They prefer toys to preen and weave, puzzles that require concentration, softer destructible toys and toys with multiple textures
  6. 6. Manipulators  Parrots that loves to take things apart  Disassemble their toys, their cages and gyms  Accomplished escape artists  Satisfaction from unscrewing the quick link that holds up a toy and watching the toy fall to the bottom of the cage with a satisfying crash Buzz Saws  Parrots that need wood and plenty of it  Beak-oriented and need a constant supply of things to chew  Will often destroy their perches  Destructive nature can be challenging  Larger buzz saws enjoy the challenge of hard wood toys
  7. 7. Weavers  Artistic types  Can spend hours weaving things in and out of plastic chain links or through cage bars  They like to stuff things into tiny holes in other toys  Strands of sea grass, palm fronds, raffia, ribbon, leather or jute provide endless fun for weaving and preening Gatherers  This type of parrot likes to collect things like:  Bits of toys  Foot toys  Food  Some pile up their collection and some hide their treasures inside other things in their cage
  8. 8. Acrobats  These are the clowns of parrots  Enjoy hanging by a toenail than standing on two feet  Like lying on their backs or even standing on their heads  Swings, hanging rope or chain, and bungees/boings are favorites for these guys Hide and Seekers  Parrot that peers out at you from their secret spot  Shy  Like their own private hideaway like huts and tubes Companions  Parrots that substitute toys for a cage-mate rather than something to chew up/destroy  Rarely destroy their toys - snuggles next to them
  9. 9. Foraging Foot Destructible  Wooden  Shreddables  Plastics Comfort  Cuddlers  Preening Interactive  Take apart/puzzles  Sound /noisemakers
  10. 10. Foraging is a natural behavior! Foraging toys provide your parrot with:  Purpose  Mental challenging  Increased opportunities for exercise  Essential play time  Rewards for their effort!
  11. 11. Small toys that are suitable for grasping in the parrots foot Foot toys provide your parrot with:  Exercise to build and maintain dexterity  Balance  Strength Foot toys can be kept in:  Stainless steel pails  Baskets  Bowls
  12. 12. Destructible toys provide your parrot with:  An outlet to express the natural urge to chew  Encourages and teaches your parrot to chew on acceptable items  Saves household items Destructible toys can be:  Wooden  Shreddable  Plastic  Baskets  Any parrot toy
  13. 13. Comfort toys provide your parrot with:  A sense of security  A safe place to hide and sleep Comfort toys can be:  Tents  Rings  Swings Comfort toys can be soft, furry pieces of material that your parrots can cuddle and preen
  14. 14. If your parrot likes to undo locks and escape from it’s cage, you should try some interactive toys A lot of interactive toys for human babies/small children have sound – parrots love sound  These could be any baby type toys  Different type parrot safe puzzles
  15. 15. Cheaper – saves you money!! Fun to do  Something your children could do with you or for you You know your parrot(s) likes and dislikes
  16. 16. Any human-grade food container and lids Bamboo (skewers too) Baskets (natural seagrass, wicker, willow, straw hats, maize mats, seagrass mats) Beads (pony, animal, flower shaped) Birdie Bagels Buttons Children’s Toys (Legos, plastic keys, wiffle balls) Coconut shells Cornhusks Corrugated Boxes
  17. 17. Grapevine wreaths Leather (veggie tanned only) Loofah Logs Paper products (colored paper, adding machine paper, muffin cups, paper cups and cones, coffee filters, brown lunch bags, egg cartons, finger traps, coin rolls, telephone books) Pine cones Plastic (toys, links, chains, PVC plumbing joints, straws, needlepoint canvas)
  18. 18. Rope (100% cotton, paulie rope, poly rope, sisal, hemp, jute) Rubber ducky’s or other rubber shaped toys Stainless steel (bells, pails, skewers) Vine balls or wreaths Wood (blocks, balls, wheels, popsicle sticks, wooden ice cream spoons, spools, untreated pine, dowels, chop sticks)
  19. 19. Michaels or A.C. Moore craft stores Home Depot, Lowes or other home improvement stores Thrift /Second hand stores Dollar stores Garage and Yard sales IKEA Your Very Own RECYCLING BIN  Food containers  Plastic lids off bottles and food  Cereal boxes/food boxes Your children’s toy box At Phoenix Landing events
  20. 20. Websites (just to name a few):  Big Beaks Bird Toys (  Bird Safe Store (  California Bird Nerds (  Casey’s Wood Products (  Fastenal (  Mother Plucking Toys (  Oriental Trading ( • Parrot Toy Angels ( • The Coconut King ( • Rhode Island Novelties ( • Twin Leather (  ULine for boxes (
  21. 21. www.phoenixlanding.orgSafe colorants: Kopykake Kroma Kolors VitaCritter Wilton’s Gel Food Coloring USDA Food ColoringNote: Most parrots don’t care if theirwood is dyed! We like color because it’seye pleasing.
  22. 22. Avoided toys or parts with zinc  Zinc is toxic to parrots if ingested Painted toy blocks (i.e., ABC blocks) make sure they were only painted with non-toxic, children safe paints Make sure the type of rope can’t get tangled around a parrots foot or neck and should be cut in short lengths  Check ropes toys daily and cut back or discard rope toys when they become frayed or present a hazard to your parrot  Make sure your parrots nails and beak are trimmed to avoid accidents with rope toys Toys and toy parts should be appropriately sized for the type of parrot you own TINY X-SMALL SMALL MEDIUM LARGE X-LARGE Canary Parakeet Conure Small Cockatoo Amazon Macaw Finch Cockatiel Quaker Mini Macaw African Grey Large Cockatoo
  23. 23. Safe woods: (partial list)  Pine, Balsa, Bamboo, Apple, Arbutus, Aspen, Beech, Birch, Cactus, Cottonwood, Crabapple, Dogwood, Elm, Hawthorn, Larch, Manzanita, Ash, Poplar, Willow, Ribbonwood, Grapevine wood Unsafe woods: (partial list)  NEVER use pressure treated woods, plywood, cedar, cherry or oak Website about safe and unsafe wood Leather  Use only veggie tanned leather  Do not buy dyed leather or leather tanned with chemicals as most are toxic to birds (i.e., chromium, formaldehyde)  Do not retire old shoes, belts and purses to your parrots toy chest as these too can have toxic chemicals Baskets  Make sure they are all natural. If they smell or have a shiny finish, do not use them. If they have string , either cut the basket or don’t use it. Wash all baskets first either in your dishwasher or bathtub with either OxiClean or white vinegar.
  24. 24. Other things to avoid:  Baskets with varnish finishes.  Colored Magazines – they contain harmful inks and chemicals, when ingested can cause harm  Toothbrushes - contain nylon fibers and some contain lead metal parts to hold the bristles in place  Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Cardboard Tubes – they contain harmful glues which contain zinc  Felt, Plastic Bags, Cellophane - will not pass through a parrot’s digestive system and can cause a blockage  Plastic Coated Wire coat hangers – may contain zinc Use common sense and supervise your parrot when you first give them a new toy. If you have doubts, take it out.
  25. 25. All parrots play differently, so know your parrots playing style Make sure beak and nails are properly trimmed Place new toy on the outside of the cage or within eyesight for a few days Supervise your parrot with any new toy Keep your parrot’s mind stimulated by providing:  A wide variety of toy types  Periodically introducing new toys  Frequently rotating out old toys Birds are like kids and they can get bored of their toys quite easily! Parrot toys are meant to be destroyed!!
  26. 26. Books  A Practical Parrot Guide Parrot-Toys & Play Areas: How to Put Some Fun Into your Parrot’s Life Carol S. D’Arezzo and Lauren Shannon-Nunn DVDs  Captive Foraging DVD - Scott Echols  Enriching Your Parrot’s Life - Robin Shewokis
  27. 27. Websites, Groups & Blogs  Parrot Enrichment by Kris Porter (  Parrot Enrichment blog (  Parrot Enrichment Facebook page (  Avian Enrichment newsletter and website (  The Parrot’s Workshop Facebook Group ( • A Bird’s Best Life (  Captive Foraging for Parrots: Let birds be birds (  Good Bird Blog (  Teach Your Birds to Forage for Food (  Best In Flock (
  28. 28. Please join the Phoenix Landing yahoo group and share your new toy ideas with everyone Download the activity books at:
  29. 29. Designed By: Laura Ford and Debbie RussellHoliday Elf or Polar Bear Vine Ball Forging Coffee Cup Snowman Jello Foraging Cup
  30. 30. Supplies needed • 12 pony beads • 8 “straw beads” drinking straws cut into +/- 1” sections • 1 plastic snack cup (jello or applesauce etc) with a hole drilled in the bottom •3 pieces of +/- 20” hemp or other bird safe string • 3 finger traps • 1 holiday finger puppet Step 1- thread beads to match this pattern, leave a little slack string in the middle trim excess string. Step 2- tie bottom of third string around the middle of the two beaded strings. Step 1 Step 3- thread string up through the hole in the cup, with beads on the bottom. Step 4- poke the string through the middle of each finger trap (it may be helpful to use tweezers) Step 5- cut a small hole in the top of the finger puppet, and thread the string Step 2 through. Step 6 – fill cup with pellets, nutraberries or nuts andStep 3 Step 4 shredded paper if Step 5 desired
  31. 31. www.phoenixlanding.orgSupplies needed• paper “travel cup” - plain paper, without flocked or non slip finish•hemp or other bird safe string +/- 20 “•cinnamon stick•shredded paper, and any desired foot toys or treats Step 4 Step 1 – tie one end of string around the center of the cinnamon stick. Step 2 – poke a small hole in the bottom of the cup and thread the string through the cup Step 1 Step 3 – stuff the cup with shredded paper, toys and treats Step 4 – poke a hole in the lid of the cup, thread string through lid and secure lid on cup Step 2
  32. 32. Supplies needed • vine balls, one large, one small • small straw hat • hemp or other bird safe string +/- 20” • thin block of wood aprox ½” square with a hole drilled in it • 2 cinnamon sticks • fleece strip, aprox 1”x 20” • shredded paper, and treats if desired (vine balls and hat can be ordered from coconutking)Step 1 – tie a knot in one end of string,thread on wood base Step 3Step 2 – with each of the vine balls, in one Step 1area, spread the vine apart to make anopening to allow better stuffing.Step 3 – starting with the large ball, threadstring from the opposite end through theopening you just made Step 2 Step 6Step 4 – stuff large with shredded paper, andtreats if desired, Repeat with smaller ball Step 5Step 5 – poke a hole in the hat and threadonto stringStep 6 – tie fleece scarf around neck, pushcinnamon sticks into top sides of large ballfor arms Step 4
  33. 33.
  34. 34. www.phoenixlanding.orgDuckie Leggie Ball1 small rubber duckie1 small wiffle or practice golf ball2 pieces 14” 3 ply poly rope1 piece 16” 3 ply poly rope15 plastic waffle squares (needlepoint canvas cut into + 1” sections)30 1” pieces of plastic drinking straws45 plastic pony beadsCut a hole in top and bottom of the rubber duckie. Run the 16” section of poly ropethrough duckie (tweezers or needle nose pliers may be helpful) followed by wiffleball, so that the duck sits atop the ball. Center on the rope and tie a knot at thebottom of the ball.Take both pieces of 14” poly rope and thread through the holes in the ball. Theyshould form an “X”, and be approximately equal on all sides. Tie a knot against thesides of the ball.Unravel the plys of rope, resulting in 15 „legs‟ of rope. String on each leg as follows,straw, pony bead, straw, pony bead, waffle square, pony bead, then knot at the end .Use the remaining rope at the top of the duck to hang onto the cage bars, or tie ontoa quick link.
  35. 35. www.phoenixlanding.orgCardboard Foraging Box1 Cardboard shipping box Step 21 Large zip tie3 Small zip ties6” section of poly rope2 Interlocking star rings Step 11 Dixie cup1 Birdie bagelYour box has the holes pre-punched for you. The „back‟ of the box has 2 holes, the „front‟ has 4 holes. Step 3 Step 4Step 1: Using the large zip tie, thread from the outside of one of the back holes and out through theother hole. Do not fasten zip tie yet, this is how you will attach box to the cage bars.Step 2: On the front side, thread a small zip tie from the inside of the box through one of the top„eye‟ holes, loop around through the center and around the star ring , then back into the boxthrough the same hole, fasten the zip tie. Step 5Step 3: Repeat for second eye.Step 4: Tie a knot in one end of the poly rope. From the inside of the box, run thread through center Step 6„nose‟ hole, with knot on inside of box. Thread Dixie cup onto rope and snug against box, tie a knotto hold in place. (you can tuck treats inside the cup if desired)Step 5: Attach birdie bagel at bottom „mouth‟ hole with third small zip tie in same fashion as theeye star rings were attached.Step 6: Fill the box with your choice of shredded paper, foot toys, and treats as desired. Close top of box. Step 6 Step 7Step 7: Place box in desired location in cage. Fasten around cage bars with large zip tie.
  36. 36. www.phoenixlanding.orgVine Ball Foraging Toy1 Large vine ball1 Small vine wreath18” Piece of Poly Rope5 Corn Husks6 Plastic straws4 Wooden coffee stirs10 Popsicle sticks10 Q-TipsStep 1: Using the poly rope, tie a knot around the small vine wreath.Step 2: Weave the rest of the poly rope through the vine ball, so thatthe ball is sitting on top of the wreath.Step 3: Stuff vine ball with remaining items. Starting with cornhusks will help hold other items in place. Add additional food treatsas desired.
  37. 37. Comfort/Snuggle/Preening Toy1. Cut 1 ½” wide strips out of a 12” wide piece of fleece (12”x 1 ½”)2. Cut a 18”+ length of rope. Tie a small loop in top end. With bottom end of rope, tie a knot around the center of one strip of fleece. Turn loose ends of rope toward the center.
  38. 38. www.phoenixlanding.org3. Starting at the bottom, tie strips of fleece around the rope,covering the loose ends as you go. With each strip added, turn therope slightly, to stagger the positioning of the knots, and creatinga well rounded pom-pom type effect. Hang in cage for your feathered friend to snuggle with.
  39. 39. www.phoenixlanding.orgRefillable and Reuseable Toy Supplies needed:• Stainless steel ring• Assortment of destructible materials and textures like wood and plasticsOpen stainless steel ring andfill with your parrots favoritetoy pieces. When your parrotdestroys it or if they get borewith what is on the ring,remove and refill. You can alsouse beads, wheels, fleece,animal shaped plastics, etc.