More Tips on Building Box Toys

Chris Rosenzweig writes…
I read the article about toys, and I have an additional suggestion. We built a “bunny box” for our rabbits. It’s basically a large cardboard box with doorholes, as mentioned in the toys section, but with extras.We started with a large cardboard box about two feet by three feet and eighteen inches high. Then we added layers of flattened cardboard boxes to the bottom until the pile was about three inches thick. We also put a smaller box inside the larger box.

Our male rabbit seems most interested in taking down the walls. Our female rabbit loves digging through the layers of cardboard at the bottom. And they both enjoy “interior decorating” which consists of moving the little cardboard box around inside the bigger box. The little box inside is open on one side, so they can crawl around inside that as well.

One thing to keep in mind is the placement of the doors. In our first attempt at a bunny box, the little box inside was large enough to cover up both doorways. One of our rabbits moved the box and cut off his access to both doorways. Of course we rescued our sweet, frantic bunny and added some additional escape routes.

The other thing we’ve learned is not to make the box too tall. Our current bunny box is low enough to the ground so that they can jump on top of it and play up there as well.

Linda Springer writes…
I had the fortune to help my neighbor with some baby bunnies before they were adopted out. Their favorite toy was a shoebox in which I had cut little windows and doors, leaving the flaps as awnings. I recommend placing the doors cater-corner.

The babies especially loved playing “flee the monster,” racing into one end of the box, then popping diagonally out the other side. They also enjoyed nibbling the awnings and popsicle sticks stuck in the walls, peeking out the windows, and jumping on top for King of the Mountain. I loved when six babies would cram inside the box at once to dig at the sides.

When they were larger, they still loved a cardboard box playhouse with windows and doors, but their new favorite game was racing through a network of cardboard tunnels made of long, narrow boxes from a golf store or hardware store, slit lengthwise and propped up to make a rough half-cylinder.

The little tykes also loved circling under the brim of a plain straw hat (they looked like carousel animals), sitting in it or on it, and eating it up. They energetically dug at tipped flower pots with a little potting soil still in them. They tossed and chewed baby-sized rings cut from toilet roll tubes. They were fascinated with jumping in and out of a little cardboard gazebo I made them with a roof but open sides.

And can they climb! One little escape artist went straight up three feet of chickenwire and would have gotten free of the outdoor pen if I hadn’t caught him in the act. (I know now that chickenwire isn’t good for rabbits.)

Basically, the babies loved everything adult bunnies love, but scaled to their size.