Hamsters are active creatures that love to play and exercise. Building toys for them from Popsicle sticks is a cheap and fun way to brighten up their day. You can use all sorts of materials as long as you ensure they are non-toxic. Build basic platforms and ladders can be built using Popsicle sticks, and these principles can be adapted to many designs and other materials.
Place a Popsicle stick down horizontally on a piece of scrap paper and draw a line along the top of it using the pencil. Place a row of vertical Popsicle sticks along this line from one edge to the next to decide the number of sticks you need for one solid hamster platform.
Push the edge of the ruler against the bottom of the row of Popsicle sticks, ensuring the bottom edges of all the sticks are in an even line.
Cover four Popsicle sticks with a layer of glue on one side and stick these horizontally across the row of vertical sticks at the bottom, 1/4 of the way up, 3/4 of the way up and at the top of the vertical sticks. You now have a basic platform or wall from which to create other toys.
Place two Popsicle sticks vertically at each end of the line you drew on the scrap paper so the outside edges of the sticks lie against the end of each line.
Starting approximately 1 inch from the bottom, place several Popsicle sticks across the two vertical sticks. Leave about 1 inch between each horizontal stick and stop about 1 inch from the top. Glue the sticks in place and leave to dry. This makes a basic ladder.
Make a second ladder. Prop both ladders upright by placing them between two small blocks or similar, heavier objects. Using the platform as a guide place the two propped up ladders directly opposite each other and close enough together so that the platform, when balanced on top of them, will just overlap the ladders on each side.
Take a Popsicle stick and balance it diagonally across the top of the space between the two ladders at their farthest apart points. Glue in place. Repeat in the other direction so the two diagonal sticks now form an "X" shape that secures the two ladders together and forms a base on to which the platform can be attached.
Add further platforms and ladders as desired.
Be very careful to use non-toxic glue to prevent your hamster accidentally ingesting poison.