Autumnal Toys Aplenty

October 6, 2011 § 3 Comments

Yesterday, my roommate came home to me hugging a toy on the floor.  (Not kidding.)  I had just opened up my latest box from Things for Wings and was honestly rejoicing how adorable and beautiful and lovely these toys are.  I’ve been feeling a bit neglectful lately because of the move, the school year starting back up again, and just how busy I’ve been in general, so I thought I’d surprise them all with some lovely new toys.  I cannot believe how creative these toys by Danita are!  Considering all of the restrictions I put on her (due to my various paranoias), she has really done an incredible job of still creating beautiful, unique, and interesting toys.  I cannot wait to hand them over to the flock to earn their seals of approval.

Autumn and Halloween toys for Lola

The first bunch of toys I ordered were from the autumn and Halloween toy collections, and all three were for Lola.  I ordered modified versions of the Harvest Moon, the Cornucopia, and Jacks, Bats, and Cats.  I absolutely adore them.  Now normally I almost never buy Lola toys with shreddables on them– vine/wicker things in particular– because she doesn’t care for them much.  But in my effort to get her to forage more, I’ve found that vine balls are one of the best things for this!  And it’s a win-win: not only do they make the perfect hiding spot for a nice in shell almond, or some other high value treat, but they’re also persuading her to widen her horizons, and to play with other types of textures aside from her favorite: wood.  With that in mind, Danita and I edited these toys with Lola’s likes in mind but also maximizing foraging opportunities.

The toy on the top right is the Harvest Moon, edited to be a bit more challenging for Lola with more pine and natural wood rounds than soft woods or corn cobs.  I think it’ll be the perfect combination of wood to seek and destroy for Lola, but also foraging hiding spots so that I can get her foraging for her dry foods.  The toy on the bottom is the Jacks, Bats, and Cats toy, which is too adorable to be true.  I can’t wait to hang that one in her cage in preparation for Halloween!  I love that it’s a horizontal-style toy that can be attached to the cage on both ends.

Close up of the Cornucopia toy

The Cornucopia is pictured on the top left of the first photo, and there is a close up above.  It is truly the ultimate foraging toy.  I think that I will hang it from either the side or the corner of the cage, by attaching both of the handles on the basket to the cage.  Not only are there about a million spots within the vine balls to hide treats, but the basket itself is also the perfect place for even more foraging opportunities.  But what makes it even cooler is that there are also spots for some really challenging foraging– Danita very cleverly tied a small round of wood inside each of the vine flowers, making the interior of the flower a very clandestine spot for a treat!  I also wanted to show off these amazing “Garfunkle Curls.”  They are curly pieces made of super crunchy bark– I know that Lola will just love those!

Custom toys designed with Lola in mind

Next, I ordered three custom toys for Lola, but I put a LOT of constraints on Danita, and I’m shocked at the beautiful creations she was able to come up with.  These photos, unfortunately, don’t do these toys justice at all, but they are incredible works of art in real life!  I chose three toys of varying value (from $25 to $40) and asked that each one be relatively simply: all crunchy, snap-able hardwoods, all un-dyed, all with strands that aren’t too long, and knots in between each item– just crunchy, hardwood toys that will keep Lola busy and are no-frills, basically.  These are usually the toys I make myself, but lately I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to toy making as I’d like, so I wanted a few back ups for Lola for those weekends I couldn’t make her toys.  When I asked for these, I was imagining that Danita would create relatively plain toys, like the ones I make on rolling pin bases that pretty much all look the same.  Well, boy was I mistaken!  These toys are amazing.

A close up of the subtle, floral designs on the toys

Danita knows I don’t like fully-dyed toys because Lola is a chronic dunker, so what she did instead was create tiny floral designs using just enough dye to make them pretty, but not so much that they’ll contaminate her water.  They are beautiful!  But the amount of amazing and fun parts she was able to include in these toys, all the while making sure that the strands aren’t too long so as to pose a strangulation risk, is what impresses me the most.  These are BIG, and HEAVY toys.  These will definitely last Lola at least a few… days 🙂  I just love them!!

Natural toy parts to add to my arsenal of foraging toy parts

Finally, to continue to promote foraging in Lola’s life, I purchased a bunch of cool different “boxes” and “containers” that are made of natural, woven parts so that I can skewer them or attach them to the cage and encourage Lola to seek out all of her food, rather than to free feed.  (That effort, by the way, is working beautifully!  She absolutely loves foraging for her food.)  I ordered several Pandan boxes, small and large woven boxes, woven palm mats, and these very cool bamboo sticks that are hollow.  The bamboo sticks are the perfect size to insert a meaty sunflower seed or even pine nut.  I also purchased a few no-frills foot toys to replenish Lola’s stock as well.

Toys for the littles too, of course!

I couldn’t leave the little guys out, of course… I purchased them a few toys as well that will make beautiful adornments to their new cage!!  I ordered a slightly more challenging Scuttlebut toy for Sabrina, who loves yucca and willow and vine balls.  The toy on the bottom is also a custom toy for her, which is basically a large and beautiful flower made up of vine balls and beak-able beads.  On top is the Going to Market, chock full of deliciously crunchy shreddables, and finally there is the adorable Gypsy toy, with lots more to beak.  They are all too cute!

I couldn’t be happier with the new toys, and I can’t wait to give them to the flock.  I am going to do a rearranging of Lola’s cage soon, so I’ll post photos of her with her new goodies when I do that.  I’m going to hold off on giving these new toys to the budgies until their new cage arrives, though.  Hopefully that day isn’t too far away!

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