Placing toys in the enclosure is a good way of enriching and encouraging movement. Hedgehogs are very active animals that are also very curious, so variety is important. Fortunately, there is more than enough variety!
Hard rubber or foam balls are an easy and attractive form of enrichment. Hedgehogs can bite really hard in that; what they would normally do to their prey. Foam balls are harmless when pieces are swallowed: they are simply pooped out again. Hard rubber balls are too hard to bite through, but move enough not to damage the teeth. Plastic balls are often less suitable because they quickly burst and can cause injuries. Many plastic balls also have openings where legs or their mouths can get stuck.
Crinkle balls are a very popular type of toy and are always very popular with hedgehogs. It makes noise, they can bite and drag with it and they are difficult to break because the thin material moves with the teeth. The chance that they ingest pieces is therefore very small and it is a very safe type of toy. They often come in packs of 4 balls at a time, so you can also do with them for a while. If one ball is crumpled, you have three more in stock!
Plush toys do not fluff and are wonderfully soft bite material for a hedgehog. Many hedgehogs find the plush stuffed animals a fun activity; they drag the stuffed animals all over the cage! Please note that the cuddly toys can be broken, and the filling is not safe. A bitten cuddly toy really needs to be replaced. Preferably only under supervision.
Tunnels are available in plastic, cork, wood and even stone. They are also available in different sizes. A nice addition to the enclosure and many hedgehogs use it to run through or sleep in. So a double function!
Bridges are great fun, especially in combination with tunnels! Note that hedgehogs are bad at seeing depth and the bridges should not be too high.
Running wheels are an enrichment of the enclosure and encourage the hedgehog to cover great distances in succession, while that space is actually not really there in an enclosure. Read more about running wheels on this page.
There are playhouses for guinea pigs and rabbits that are great fun for hedgehogs too! They are often a bit higher and some houses you will have to make a border along the side to prevent the hedgehog from falling off, but the houses invite you to sleep somewhere else and walk around a bit more that way in the residence.
A sandbox is a good way of grooming and house care, but also counts as a toy! Hedgehogs bathe in it to keep their house clean, but they can also dig in it.
Besides buying toys, you can also make your own toys! If you have fish and their food canister is empty, put some cat food in it, screw the cap back on and sew a layer of fleece around it. A rattle tube of which you can simply replace the fleece if it gets dirty.
How cheap do you want to make toys? An empty toilet or kitchen roll will serve as a toy for a hedgehog for a few days to a few weeks. Just cut it lengthwise, so that their heads can't get stuck. Another option is stuffing such a cut roll with nesting material such as hay or fleece. Then the hedgehog has to make an effort to get the nesting material out and that is quite a challenge that they are happy with!
Hedgehogs love to dig! A digging bucket is therefore a fun activity. You can easily make a digging bucket yourself by filling a rodent toilet with pompom balls, marbles, back-2-nature or another digable filling that is safe for the hedgehog. Hide some treats in it and the hedgehog can dig and look for the treats.
A sniffing mat is a mat made of fleece with a lot of strings on it, where you can hide something nice. The hedgehog then has to search between the strings for the goodies and they are busy with that for a while. Very nice toys.