Although leopard geckos are solitary creatures, they are quite curious and love to play as much as they can. As such, it is important to provide the reptile with objects it can play with.
Similarly, you can also play with your lizard. Play ensures that the lizard is less stressed and active.
So what do leopard geckos play with? These reptiles play with a wide variety of toys and objects. Objects such as reptile hammocks, bendable branches, and flexible jungle vines make excellent playthings for your leo.
Additionally, you can also build an obstacle course or a gecko carnival for your reptile.
Things to Consider
Sharp Edges on Toys
To start with it is important that the objects within the enclosure do not harm the gecko. As such the objects should not have sharp edges, and these toys shouldn’t be objects that the gecko can get caught in such as wire mesh.
Adequate Cover and Hiding Spots
Apart from playing with these objects, they also provide a safe dark retreat for the gecko if and when it feels stressed. Objects such as caves provide the lizard with a place to hide.
Having all of these objects ensures that the lizard is stimulated.
Moving Objects Around
It is essential not to move the objects within the enclosure around. If you have to clean the enclosure, return all the objects to where they were before the cleaning. This ensures that the gecko doesn’t think it is in a new environment.
Reptiles such as leopard geckos prefer familiarity and as such new environments can stress them.
The Best Toys for Your Leopard Gecko
Here are our 10 recommended objects to get for your leo’s enclosure. While it is a good idea to take your leo out of its enclosure so you can play with it, it is also an excellent idea to have objects within the enclosure that the gecko can interact with most of the day.
Here is where having a large enclosure is good. The larger the enclosure the more items you can have within the enclosure.
Branches are excellent objects to have within the enclosure as they give the enclosure a more natural feel.
These branches look like an object that can be found in the wilderness. The branches are objects that your gecko can climb on, walk across and even hide under. This toy or object is sure to become a favorite of the gecko once it gets used to it.
You can even place the bendable branch on the ground so that your leo can play with it. Alternatively, you can hang them with the help of a few suction cups.
These branches can easily be found in reptile pet shops. You can also order one online from Amazon. If you do, I recommend Fluker’s Small Animal Bend-A-Branch.
As many of you already know, Flukers is a trusted brand when it comes to products designed for pet reptiles.
These Bend-A-Branch are 6 feet long and come in 3 different sizes – small, medium, and large. These sizes determine the thickness of the branches.
Caves and Hides
Reptiles like to hide. They all prefer a dark and cozy retreat they can escape to when stressed and the leopard gecko is no different.
Hides or caves are essential and there is no way you should have a leo enclosure without one.
Leos like to have a private dark place they can lounge in during the day and night. These dark spaces make them feel safe as the reptile feels that no potential predator can see it. Caves are essential especially early when the leo is new to the enclosure and doesn’t even know if you are a friend or foe.
I recommend having more than just one cave. Two caves should be enough. I recommend placing one at the cool end and the other at the warm end. This way the lizard has choices to choose from.
Don’t be surprised to see the gecko climbing all over the cave. When getting a cave, get one that the gecko can easily enter and exit.
In terms of shape and design, you can get one that looks natural and appears to be a small natural cave or you get one that looks like a rectangular box. The gecko doesn’t care how the cave looks but a more natural-looking cave is more aesthetically pleasing.
We recommend the Exo Terra Gecko Cave.
One object anyone with a leo must install in the enclosure is a reptile hammock. There are different types and brands of reptile hammocks on the market. It is easy to find one at a pet shop that deals in reptiles and amphibians.
You can also find a reptile hammock online. If you want to get one, I recommend the Niteangel Bearded Dragon Hammock if you want a hammock constructed from organic materials and the Niteangel 2 Packs Breathable Mesh Reptile Hammock if you want a hammock constructed from nylons.
These objects can be made of organic materials such as woven seaweed or synthetic material such as nylon mesh. Both types work well and the leo won’t care if the hammock is constructed from organic materials or synthetic materials.
The hammocks come with suction cups and metal rings or leather strings so you can affix the hammock to the corners of the enclosure. Hammocks enclosure exercise and an active lifestyle among the geckos.
These are an excellent addition to any leopard gecko enclosure. These vines are highly bendable and can be twisted just like real vines.
These vines are very long, about 8 ft long, and have a diameter of about 1cm for thin vines and 1.5 cm for thick vines.
The vines are made of polyurethane and have a metallic core. This makes them durable and safe for your pet. They are also easy to clean and use. Unless felt, it is pretty hard to differentiate this view from the real thing.
These vines add a natural feel to the enclosure. All you need is one. They can be twisted and turned in so many ways.
Geckos enjoy interacting with these vines. These can also be found in most reptile and amphibian pet shops. They can also be purchased online through amazon.
I recommend the EONMIR Jungle Vines.
From afar resin skulls look like the real thing but they are perfectly safe. These skulls are constructed from resin and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some look like human skulls, while others look like dinosaur skulls. Some even look like crocodile skulls.
Geckos can climb all over the skull and even use it as a hideout. As with the other toys/objects mentioned in this article, these skulls are relatively common in pet shops. However, if you cannot find one in a pet shop near you, you can easily order one from Amazon.
As I mentioned earlier, there are many different types of skulls but my favorite is the triceratops skull as it gives the impression of an archeological dig site.
One of the best and easiest ways to make the enclosure appealing to a gecko is to have plants within the enclosure. These plants can be natural or artificial. Natural plants require watering and maintenance so that is something to be aware of and take into consideration.
However, artificial plants do not require tending to as they are plastic. You can simply clean them when they are dirty.
Plants also make the geckos feel at home. Geckos love to hide and play in the plants. Although not an absolute must, I recommend having some plants within the gecko’s enclosure.
While some of the toys and objects mentioned may be a little tricky to find, artificial plants can be found in all reptile and amphibian pet shops.
Here are some of my favorites – Fluker’s Repta Vines-Pothos for Reptiles and Amphibians, Amakunft Artificial Reptile Tank Plants, and SunGrow Reptile Artificial Plant.
Coconut Hut with Ladder
The coconut husk hut with ladder is an interesting hide for your leopard gecko. This is a type of cave habitat that takes the form of a coconut husk with an opening.
The husk is held up by a handing loop with allows you to hang the husk in the enclosure. The lizard can then access the husk hut using a ladder provided.
This provides the lizard with a lot of exercise. From this vantage point, the gecko can then survey the lay of the land. The lizard can also hide within the husk hut.
There are several different types of coconut husk hut on Amazon but my personal favorite is the SunGrow Leopard Gecko Coconut Husk Hut.
Dinosaur Egg Fossil
Placing fake dinosaur egg fossils in the enclosure is an excellent way to decorate the enclosure while providing the gecko with an object to play with and climb.
These toys are a bit niche and can be difficult to find in your local pet shop. However, they can be ordered online.
These eggs just like the triceratops skull provide a Jurassic Park feel to the enclosure. It also looks makes the enclosure look like an archeological site.
Your leo will enjoy climbing over it and jumping over it. These come in a variety of sizes such as small, medium, and large.
The Exo Terra Dinosaur Eggs Fossil Hide-Out is an excellent choice.
Turtle Basking Platform
While these are generally used to provide turtles with a platform to bask on, they can also be used to provide geckos a platform to climb on. There are countless types of basking platforms out there on the market.
While some take the appearance of natural rock formations, others do not take the appearance of any object that can be found in nature.
When getting a basking platform for your gecko’s enclosure, get one that works with the enclosure. There are basking platforms that are designed purposely to be submerged into water. These types will not work in the dry enclosure of the gecko.
I recommend the kathson Turtle Basking Platform. This platform has suction cups that allow you to securely affix the platform to the side of the enclosure.
Setting Up Your Geckos Play Area
Geckos love to play. One way to keep your gecko entertained at all times is to create what I like to call a gecko carnival. This is where you fill a box with gecko toys include several of the toys already mentioned.
You can also add objects such as paper towel rolls. The gecko will climb all over the objects, jump down, and generally explore. This will keep the gecko entertained.
Of course, if you have a large enough enclosure with several gecko toys, it gives the gecko the opportunity to explore and play. This is something we want for our pets.
Gecko-proofing the Area
If you wish to play with your leopard gecko you need to gecko proof the area. The gecko shouldn’t be able to escape as many dangers await it.
When setting up barriers make sure to use objects that cannot injure the gecko in any way. It is also advisable to close windows and doors as the draft can be bad for the gecko, also other pets may enter.
Curious pets such as cats and dogs can cause serious harm to the gecko.
Keeping your leo stimulated and active in a captive enclosure can be difficult.
It is essential that you find a way to keep your lizard occupied and entertained. While leopard geckos are solitary creatures, they are still curious and like to explore. It is essential that you provide the lizard with playthings.
What do leopards play with? You can decorate the enclosure with objects such as fake plants and live plants, hammocks, vines, caves, and even lizard loungers.
Additionally, you can also construct gecko carnivals and obstacle courses for your lizard. This will ensure that the gecko is entertained when it needs to be.
For further information and questions, kindly leave a comment.