Recycled Sugar Glider Toys
Re-purposing, re-using and recycling remain in the forefront of nearly everything today. So as we head into the season when many of us try our hand at “being crafty”, we thought it might be fun to review some ideas for creating interactive playtime between suggies and their humans. You can re-purpose parts from everyday products to use as toys. Sometimes you can even create “reset” toys that you set up for your sugar glider to essentially take apart. Yes, that means you have to put them together again! Commonly used products include toilet paper rolls, milk rings, straws, etc. Click here for a previous article on “disposable toys”, which is a similar idea.
This idea has existed for a very long time in the sugar glider community and can allow us to develop some incredibly creative games for sugar gliders and their humans. Each sugar glider is unique, but we have learned over the years that some gliders are more “out of the box” thinkers than others!
When you open up a plastic milk jug with one of those blue, red or yellow “tear-off” rings that serves as a seal for the cap, you may toss them away unconsciously. But you may want to rinse them off and toss them into a box until you’ve collected a few that you can stack them into a pile on the bottom of the cage. From there, your curious pint-sizers (pun intended!) will go to task. Sound mind-numbingly easy? Well, that’s because our part of the deal is! You see, the real masterminds behind the inventions are our fuzzy friends!
If your milk rings come off the jug as a whole circle, make sure you cut the ring so there is no danger of getting stuck. And those rings with “teeth” on them you might want to avoid or trim the teeth.
One example comes from one of our very own who has become quite adept at adorning herself with a milk ring necklace every evening. When we wake up for breakfast, we are greeted by our very own Holly GoLightly (minus the Breakfast at Tiffany’s price tag, thank you very much!)
Another popular recycled toy is the good ole cardboard center of toilet paper rolls. To start, you can try just placing one inside the cage. Set one on the bottom of the cage – vertically or horizontally – and then let the idea generators go to task! You may see some interactivity between multiple gliders batting the roll back and forth. Some gliders will scooch inside and hide. Initially, they may not seem interested at all, but it’s only a matter of time.
If you have an over-achiever (i.e., an avid chewer), then you may find a shredded TP roll first thing in the morning! Or maybe not – it will look untouched. Cardboard may not be the right material, but perhaps straws and / or milk rings are. Once you start to see and learn patterns, you can determine what types of items work best for your unique posse. And as you become more familiar with what’s popular, then YOU can start to get more creative in the process (…yup, it can be very humbling to be a dumb ole human).
For instance, perhaps you can try hanging milk rings from in-cage toys and observe what happens overnight. If you use straws for smoothies or drinks, cut them in half, or into thirds, and then perhaps try building a “cabin”. It’s unlikely to still be standing in the same format you left it in the night before, but it can be great fun way to learn more about your gliders’ traits and they can even learn a little about you! As an added bonus, it’s an inexpensive way to recycle things creatively. You can find additional information on the sugar glider message boards about recycled and reset toys:
I just wanted to drop you a line & let you know that my kids are playing dodge ball w/the chicken & rice pellets🙁 Is there any way at all that these could be made smaller? Or broken up? I would want them to eat these whenever they feel they want to, but rite now they are seeing who can throw the farthest!
Dear Dodge Ball Mom,
Sounds like yer kids are some sirius athleetes! When we were makin and testin pellets, Yours Truly specially requested smaller pellets. But the MAN-You-Facturin’ peeples told us that since our food recipe didn’t have any fillers or binders, it couldn’t be made smaller. Gotta admit I don’t really understand all this kinda stuff, but my mum ‘splained it to me like this: “if the MAN-You-Facturin’ peeples tried to make a smaller pellet, it’d be pellet dust.”
So methinks our pellets are probly more fun to chow on than pellet dust. But if ya wanna cut down on da dodge ball games, ya could try smashin ’em up a bit so they’ll be smaller to snak on. Plus, dodge ball will be so much more safer with smaller pellet ballz!
Your Kickin’ Pal,
You mention that the doors are heavy on your Deluxe Rectangular cage. It’s true enough, however my 4 little munchkins have learned how to work together to open it, allowing one (and sometimes all) to escape. Yup, I have 4 over achievers.
So if anyone else has that problem, bungee cords work really well (for now) in keeping the doors closed. At some point in time I am sure my 4some will learn how to move the bungee cords.
Sharon Carnahan (mom and grandma to little munchkins)
Dear Sharon & the Houdinis,
Yer li’l escapers sound super smart! Havin’ just saw Oceans Eleven, got a pic in me head of them pullin’ out a mini power tool set to get past anything – yuk yuk yuk!
We don’t know about many cases of glider characters “working together” to create such trouble. Gliders can be purty smart, but no worries – the bungie cords should probly keep workin’. It’d shock even me if they outsmart ya on dat one! But if cords can’t keep ’em in, then zip ties (cable ties) will pretty much lock up those doors!
Sugar Glider Exchange Milestone
As November represents a month to focus on gratitude, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the sugar glider community for helping support SunCoast’s Glider Exchange service. In August 2002, SunCoast Sugar Gliders started hosting this free service. It was created to help match people who must find a home for a sugar glider they can no longer keep with a home willing to open their doors to a new sugar glider friend.
Older sugar gliders have special needs and this service helps fill a void by focusing on the needs of older, mature gliders in need of more love and attention. Overall, about 3 to 4 sugar gliders are adopted month through this service.
We have continued to provide this service for over 8 years and are very excited to have exceeded over 300 adoptions to date! On behalf of all older sugar gliders in need of a new home, we thank everyone for your help in supporting this service.
‘Til next time, in good health for you and your gliders, we sign off in appreciation of all of you who share great glider adventures with us!