Much like cats and dogs, bearded dragons can really benefit from not only having toys to play with but also regular activities to engage in.
If you fail to provide your bearded dragon with toys and activities… then you’re missing out on an awesome way to provide them with not only a great source of exercise but also stimulation and fun that can really improve the quality of their life!
Bottom line? Providing enrichment for bearded dragons is something you should highly consider your responsibility as a loving pet owner.
And in terms of how to give them enrichment? Simply provide toys and activities! But, my advice is this: Keep it simple and safe.
If you’re curious (or in a hurry):
Enrichment for Bearded Dragons: Why Stimulation is Important for a Happy Bearded Dragon
Before we jump straight into discussing the top toys and activities, let’s first discuss WHY stimulation is so vital in the first place.
Think of it this way, when it comes to enrichment for bearded dragons, you need to remember that most bearded dragons spend a crazy amount of time alone in their tank. How would YOU feel if you spent all day, every day in one large room?
On the flip side, bearded dragons in the wild not only have a much larger territory to roam, but also countless more things to keep them occupied! Whether chasing down bugs, observing other animals, or simply find a new rock to bask on, wild bearded dragons aren’t lacking for fun activities.
Fortunately, any bearded dragon who is used to spending the majority of their day in a cage, isn’t going to need all the bells and whistles pulled out for them in order to have fun. Simple toys like balls and even wand toys for cats can give your beardie plenty of enjoyment!
Check out the video below to see a bearded dragon playing with a ball!
And when it comes to bearded dragons activities?
A quick walk around the yard or swim in a kiddie pool can provide PLENTY of stimulation. Just make sure you’re always on hand to supervise!
Alright, with that being said, let’s dive right into the list!
Below you will find 10 awesome toy suggestions and 10 activity ideas that all provide stellar opportunities for enrichment for bearded dragons.
Best Toys for Bearded Dragons
Ever asked yourself, “What do bearded dragons like to play with?” or “What do bearded dragons like to do?”. Well, luckily providing them with the RIGHT toys doesn’t take a mini fortune. In fact, having a happy bearded dragon may just be easier than you think…
As such, the toys below are surprisingly affordable and are sure to delight beardies old and young alike.
So, if you’ve been on the hunt for how to play with a bearded dragon, just keep reading.
Some dragons enjoy lunging at small balls and have been seen to even instigate the “attack”. A great source of exercise, letting your beardie have at it with a small, lightweight ball is the PERFECT option for a quick little workout. Some beardies will even chase after the balls as they roll away!
A Cat Wand
Your dragon may love being able to chase around a toy dangling off a cat wand, making this a great toy to try. What’s even better? Cat wands are also super inexpensive, making them a great budget friendly option!
Just one word of advice, avoid getting the kind with feathers as your dragon should not be ingesting these at all.
I personally love watching my bearded dragon playing with a cat wand. It’s probably one of my favorite toy options out there because it’s something you can do with them.
A Laser Pointer
Some people have reported that their bearded dragon playing with and chasing around a laser pointer, probably because they mistake the laser for a bug. However, there are also plenty of comments stating that bearded dragons can tire and become bored with this after realizing it’s not actually a bug.
Simply let them chase it for just a couple minutes once or twice a week, this way it takes much longer before they “figure it out”.
Also, a nice cricket reward after would probably be much appreciated by your frustrated beardie considering he never actually catches the first “bug”.
Crinkled Wrapping Paper or Cat Toy
Some owners have reported witnessing their bearded dragon playing with crinkly, crumpled-up wrapping paper and those mylar crinkle ball cat toys! I recommend setting a crinkle ball out or just crumpling up some wrapping paper, and putting your beardie down next to it to see what they do.
And if they seem disinterested? Try gently placing them on top of it so they “get the idea” so to speak.
While not necessarily something you’ll see your bearded dragon playing with per se, a hammock makes a WONDERFUL addition to any bearded dragon’s habitat as it gives them a place to lounge comfortably… and boy do they love lounging!
If your bearded dragon is full-grown, why not buy them this cat tunnel to run in and out of during playtime? A cat tunnel can easily just be left out for your beardie to explore, making it another easy option for you to provide your dragon with some fun.
You could even try dragging a cat wand through the tunnel to give your beardie something to chase! This is another great way to give your bearded dragon exercise.
Additionally, placing some insects in the tunnel for your beardie to “hunt” is a great idea as well. Just make sure you keep a close eye to ensure no insects escape into your home…
Looking for a way to make bath time more fun for your beardie? Why not let them kick their feet up and relax on a pool floatie!
These work great both in the bathtub as they provide a rest for beardies and give them something to relax/climb on. Not all bearded dragons enjoy baths, so this floatie can help provide some peace of mind for them.
Pimp Out Their Home with Excavator Clay
You can use this substrate to actually make custom tunnels and caves for your bearded dragon’s enclosure! Pretty cool, right?!
And the best part is, you can reform it over and over, meaning it’s not only friendly on the wallet but also allows you to mix up your dragon’s habitat every once in a while, for fresh enrichment!
To give your bearded dragon a little privacy, you can use anything from a big blanket to a cat hideout. However, most prefer to buy reptile specific hideouts as these weather regular wear and tear and fit nicely in most tanks.
Bearded dragons love to burrow down into things (especially during brumation!) and if you give them something to do that in, they’ll be super grateful!
And should you purchase or create a hideout too large for their tank? Well, simply set it in the middle of the floor and let your beardie explore on their own!
Another cool element, albeit not really a “toy”, that you can add to your dragon’s enclosure is a bridge. Bridges give your dragon not only a new place to lounge and relax, but a fun way to get from one side of their enclosure to the other.
They can really help to liven up an otherwise stale or boring environment. Just make sure the bridge is secure and stabilized within the tank to avoid any accidents.
10 Best Activities for A Happy Bearded Dragon
Besides toys, it’s also important to give your bearded dragon activities they can engage in that will provide them with enrichment. As an added bonus, many of these activities go hand in hand with bearded dragon exercise as well!
Although bearded dragons don’t need an exciting and varied routine every day, research has shown that reptiles who are given enrichment on a regular basis can not only be happier, but have improved cognitive plasticity (meaning they can think and reason about things easier than their less enriched peers).
Check out some of the ideas for activities your bearded dragon will love below!
Now, keep in mind that your bearded dragon may or may NOT like this, just like some bearded dragons don’t particularly enjoy their baths.
Also, it is SUPER important that you’re on the scene to monitor everything as your bearded dragon may tire or become distressed quickly if swimming just isn’t their cup of tea.
As far as where you could place them, I personally think little plastic kiddie pools make wonderful options! Especially if you can place it in the sun on a warm day and maybe even put a block or rock from them to climb on and bask in.
Also, you could always just fill up your bathtub a couple of inches more than normal and see if they enjoy that. Regardless, try to avoid water that is too cold or too hot. Room temperature works nicely.
If you do decide to let them swim in a kiddie pool, maybe fill it up and let it sit in the sun for an hour or so first.
Believe it or not, many people have reported that their bearded dragons actually enjoy watching tv/movies! How funny, right?
Whether you take your bearded dragon out of their cage and let them watch something with you on a laptop, tv, or iPad or leave them in the cage and prop something up for them, chances are they’ll enjoy it!
Just make sure it isn’t too loud if they’re in their cage, as they won’t really be able to get away should it be a little stressful.
Let Them “Hunt”
Looking for an easy way to make your bearded dragon happy without so much as having to spend a dime?
Well, if you have a large area where you don’t mind letting some bugs loose, why not let your bearded dragon harness their inner cold-blooded killer and “hunt” down their food?
This works great on large open patios or even in really short grass. Just make sure the grass/ground if you do let some insects loose outside, that the on the grass, that it doesn’t have any pesticides on it as you definitely don’t want your beardie ingesting that!
Going for Walks
Probably just about the BEST bearded dragon exercise opportunity, what could be more healthy than taking your pet for a walk?! By attaching a leash and harness like this one, you’ll be able to SAFELY enable your bearded dragon to roam the yard, a park, a trail, or virtually anywhere else!
This is the PERFECT activity for bearded dragons because it allows them to get some exercise and explore new areas safely. It’s especially beneficial to those who are often cooped up in their tank or tend to get restless.
Give Them a Ball Pit
Although I do NOT recommend this for baby beardies, full-grown adult bearded dragons will love having a shallow ball pit to rummage around and burrow into.
Just make sure your ball pit isn’t stuff to the brim with balls as you’ll want your bearded dragon to be able to easily resurface should they burrow down.
Go for a Drive
One of the really cool things about bearded dragons is that they love to just “hang out” with their humans. This can involve them snuggling up to you while you browse the internet, read a book, or even go for a drive!
Your dragon will love the chance to rest snuggly on your shoulder and feel some fresh air and warm sunshine as you simply drive anywhere.
Just make sure they are secure enough that they won’t fall… especially out the window!
After providing plenty of activities for bearded dragon exercise and enrichment, sometimes there’s nothing more rewarding than a good old fashioned cuddle session! You see, a happy bearded dragon is a snuggly bearded dragon!
In fact, many people have reported that their bearded dragons actually LOVE snuggling up in warm fuzzy blankets! So, why not give your bearded dragon the same luxury?
I recommend lounging on the bed with your dragon while watching some tv and giving them a warm blanket to cuddle into.
Let Them People Watch
If you live somewhere that has a lot of activity outside, why not let your bearded dragon check out all the action from the safety of a window?
Bearded dragons love to watch the world around them, so whether it’s people, traffic, other animals, they’ll surely enjoy a comfortable spot in front of the window taking it all in! Just make sure, if your window is up high that you watch with them so they don’t accidentally fall and hurt themselves.
Give Them a “Puzzle”
One of the best things you can do for your bearded dragon is to stimulate them mentally. However, this isn’t exactly the easiest feat considering specific puzzles for bearded dragons don’t really exist, at least, not that I’ve found anyways.
What you can do, however, is create your very own bearded dragon “puzzle”! One of the best ways is taking a wiffle ball, taping over all the openings except one, and filling it with live food!
Your beardie will go CRAZY batting the ball around trying to get the insects to fall out. It’s pretty funny to watch too.
Provide a Friend
Many people have reported that their reptiles, not just bearded dragons, enjoy having a stuffed animal friend to cozy up to in their habitat.
I recommend taking a small stuffed animal and placing it with your bearded dragon. See how they respond to it and if they seem indifferent to it after a few days, by all means just remove it.
However, you just may find that they enjoy the extra comfort and snuggle time…
Wrapping Up Bearded Dragon Toys and Activities
So, by now you should realize that you can provide enrichment for bearded dragons WITHOUT having to spend a small fortune or exert much energy at all! Bearded dragon activities and toys are an easy way to provide enrichment and raise a happy bearded dragon.
Simply things like crinkly paper or a walk in the yard can really boost your dragon’s happiness. It’s these small gestures that over time, will really add to your bearded dragon’s quality of life.
Much like with people… a happy bearded dragon is often times a healthy bearded dragon. And vice versa.
With all this being said, I hope by now you have the answers to the questions “What do bearded dragons like to play with?” and “what do bearded dragons like to do?”.
And if I forgot to include any great bearded dragon activities or toy ideas? Please leave them in the comments below!