12 Cool Toys For Hermit Crabs To Play With


by Simon Griffiths


Hermit crabs are easy to please and that’s why most people love to keep them as pets. Unlike other pets that require plenty of toys, hermit crabs can do with simple climbing toys.

These critters will remain entertained as long as they’ve got a few toys to climb on. You can choose to make hermit crab toys at home or even buy them from online stores. Whichever option you choose, make sure you get your crabbies several toys.

Below are some of the toys I prefer to include in my crabitat. I believe you can as well borrow some ideas from this post


Cool Toys For Hermit Crabs To Play With

1. Hammock

Hammocks are among the most popular climbing toys for hermit crabs. They’re very easy to set up and take up very little room. A well-placed net can act as another layer to your hermit crab tank. Your little hermies would love their jungle of nets and bridges to explore! Remember, an active hermit crab is a happy one!

You can either DIY your hermit crab net or pick up one. They’re dirt cheap and very well made.

Remember to use string or twine made from jute, hemp, or sisal! These three are proven to be hermit crab-safe.

A hermit crab net would work best if placed over a part of your crabitat that gives off humidity. A few examples would be your water bowls, moss, or a couple of sponges. Your crabs won’t enjoy climbing their rope net if it’s not humid.

Your crabs will need a bridge of some sort to be able to reach their net. A climbing rope from before would be ideal. Also, a stairway of rocks, plastic building blocks, or a log of cholla wood would do a great job. Again, and I’m going to say this a lot in this article, get creative! Your hermit crab enclosure is entirely up to you. The more effort you put into making sure your hermit crabs enjoy it, the more they will.

If you want to avoid the bridge/stairway headache, you can hang your netting on the side of your crabitat. Your hermit crabs may enjoy climbing vertically more than horizontally, and what’s a better way to let them do that than a rope wall? Just make sure it doesn’t reach the top of your hermit crab enclosure. You don’t want your pets escaping!

2. Rocks

Rocks are a nice option because they give your crabitat a more natural feel. A pile of rocks can make an awesome climbing mountain or stairwell to hanging nets. Just be sure to make it sturdy, the last thing you want is an avalanche!

If you want to add some rocks to your crabitat, first you need to test them. First, grab a bucket full of rocks that are lumpy, or flat. This will give your crabs plenty of foot holes. Use a dropper to drop some vinegar on each rock. If it makes a hissing sound or starts to bubble, it’s not safe to use that rock. Take the rocks that pass the vinegar test and wash them of any dirt or grime. You don’t want any infestation in your crabitat.

Pieces of slate are best for hermit crabs. They are completely safe and can make a great climbing mountain with a bit of hot glue and careful rock stacking.

With a watchful eye, you can find a plastic climbing rock at a pet store. Be sure to check the reptile aisle, they have plenty of climbing toys that’ll work great for your hermit crabs. Be on the lookout for leg holes that’ll make climbing easier and enjoyable.

Related  What Do Hermit Crabs Need In Captivity Apart From The Tank?

3. Rope

I have seen a ton of crab keepers underestimate a thick rope for climbing. A foot or two of manila rope would make an incredible climbing course for your loner crabs.

Manila rope is, as I would see it, a preferred choice over different ropes. Its unpleasant and lopsided surface gives your loner crabs more foot (or should I say leg?) openings.

On the off chance that you choose to add some rope to your crabitat, remember that rope with a 1-inch width is ideal for crabs. Anything over 1.5 inches may be excessively thick for medium-sized hermit crabs to grasp, and anything under 1 inch may be too meager to even consider holding your crab.

On the off chance that you own a jumbo hermit crab, you will require a thicker rope to withstand the weight of your crab.

Before you purchase any ropes, make sure they are hermit crab safe! Turns out that jute, hemp, and sisal rope are safe. Both of the suggested items are made of hemp, which may fall apart after a while. through your tank being supported by suction cup hooks, other decorations, and makeshift support beams. I’ve seen people use bamboo BBQ skewers or thin PVC pipes as support beams for their climbing course. Get creative!

4. Cholla Wood

Cholla wood is another popular climbing toy in the hermit crab community. It’s great for climbing and my crabs nibble away at it every chance they get. They love the stuff!

I mentioned before that the 3 bits of cholla wood I have in my tank are neglected as climbing toys. This is because I haven’t used them properly. Right now they are lying horizontally on the substrate like fallen sticks in a forest. If I instead leaned them against my coconut hut, my crabs could climb it. I could also scoop up a handful of substrate create a crater and place a log across the divot. It would act as a bridge, and give my crabs another place to hide.

There are endless possibilities when using cholla wood as climbing tools. All you gotta do is get creative.

Keep in mind that you should buy all-natural cholla wood that is not dyed any color.

5. Fake Plants

Melissa loves to climb on her plastic plant. Look at her clinging on for dear life!

When I first introduced my two crabs Clarke and Dazzle to their enclosure, they went exploring right away. Clarke, the more agile of the two, found his way to the top of their plastic tree-like plant I found at Petco. That was months ago and they’ve molted twice since then. I think they’re a bit too heavy for the plant to handle, I’ll have to buy a larger one.

Hermit crabs enjoy climbing all sorts of vegetation in nature. They’ll scale enormous trees to find a mate during mating season. Your pets would love a tree to climb, even if it is plastic.

The larger and sturdier the plant, the better. Aim for a thicker trunk, this will give your crabs more of a grip. You’ll want to bury its base in the tank’s substrate to give it a strong foundation. Hermit crabs are heavier than they look!

Once your crabs become large or jumbo, they won’t be able to climb as much on their plastic greenery. By then you’ll need much stronger climbing toys, such as Rocky Mountains, plastic building blocks, etc.

6. Plastic Building Blocks

A cool hermit crab toy I do not see many owners taking advantage of is plastic building blocks. It turns out that hermit crabs like Legos too! I recommend using Lego Duplo blocks if you have any lying around the house. They’re a great size for hermit crabs with plenty of leg holes.

You can build whatever shape you want with these building blocks. Your crabs would love a Lego staircase leading up to a net, a Lego pyramid leading to the unknown, and so on. Again, get creative!

Before you grab your Legos there are a few things you should know. The blocks need to be dipped in boiling water for 10 seconds to clean off any germs or bacteria that could harm your crabs. You’ll have to repeat this every month or so as grime will inevitably start to grow on your building blocks.

I recommend rebuilding your structures every time you clean them. Hermit crabs love to explore! Give them something they’ll find interesting.

7. Sticks

You can’t get any more DIY than a stick from your backyard. A thick branch that’s well-secured in your tank would make a great climbing toy for your hermit crabs. Carribean hermit crabs (better known as Purple Pinchers) will climb trees just like their cousin the coconut crab. The terrifying large crab can climb palm trees and break open coconuts with its claws. Whew! Stay away from that thing!

Anyway, a nice stick would make a great climbing toy. Make sure you wash off any dirt on the stick and the tree it came from was not sprayed with any chemicals. Avoid pine trees because hermit crabs cannot tolerate its sticky sap. From what I’ve seen, oak branches work best. Just make sure there aren’t any mites or creatures living inside of it. You don’t want an infestation in your crabitat!

8. Cork Wall

A cork wall is a great backdrop for your crabs. The material is hermit crab-safe, and it is great for climbing. It acts as a synthetic tree your crabs would spend their days climbing in the wild. It may be last on this list, but some hermit crab owners argue that it’s a necessity for all hermit crab enclosures. You can pick it up on Amazon for a great price

A cork wall won’t rot away like most of the other climbing toys on this list. It’s one of my favorites.

9. Bark

Another cool climbing feature for your crabitat is a chunk of bark. I plan on adding this to my hermit crab enclosure as it’s great for climbing and adds a nice natural feel to the environment. Similar to the previous item, stay away from pine bark and clean it before placing it in your tank.

I live on the Chesapeake Bay and I find tons of pieces of bark that have washed up onshore. These would do great given that they’re so lumpy which give your crabs plenty of leg holes. The only potential problem I can see is that the Chesapeake Bay isn’t the cleanest body of water. I’ll be sure to scrub away any visible dirt or grime with a toothbrush and dip the wood in boiling water for a minute or so.

10. Plastic Canvas

If you’ve never heard of plastic canvas, it’s a thin plastic mesh that’s most often used for embroidery arts and crafts. Its perfectly spaced holes are ideal for hermit crabs to cling to, making it a great climbing toy for your crabitat. My favorite thing about it is how cheap and easy it is to install.

You could fasten a large amount to one wall of your enclosure and make a cool climbing wall, or use the plastic canvas as a bridge. It’s pretty easy to attach with other climbing toys. All you need are a few zip ties or some hermit-crab-friendly twine to connect the two.

If you’re afraid of your hermit crabs drowning, plastic canvas is amazing as a pool ladder for your tank’s bowls of freshwater and saltwater.

I mentioned earlier that plastic canvas is dirt cheap. You can pick up a few sheets at your local Dollar Store or arts and crafts shop.

11. Old Cloth

This one’s a little-known secret I keep close to my chest. Old towels or pieces of cloth can make great climbing toys for your hermit crabs. If you have any old cloth you were going to throw away, consider making it into a cool climbing toy.

I’ve looked around the community for inspiration and found several clever uses of cloth. My favorite is the climbing rope. Remember having to climb a rope in gym class? I sure do. I didn’t make it more than two feet off the ground!

Anyway, try tying old bits of cloth together and hang it from the top of your enclosure as a great climbing toy. Just make sure it isn’t high enough for your crabs to escape. Suction cups with hooks would do a great job attaching it to the sides of your tank.

You would have to wash it every so often to avoid any odors, but it makes for a great climbing toy.

12. Burlap Sacks

I have yet to see someone need burlap sacks other than sack races or to store the occasional garden potato. Most end up in the trash, but it could make a nice climbing toy for your hermit crabs.

It’s as simple as hanging it on the wall of your enclosure. You’d be surprised how your hermit crabs can grip even the tiniest holes in the sack. Again, just make sure it doesn’t hang high enough for your crabs to escape the tank. Suction cups with hooks on the end would do a great job at supporting the toy.

Being in such a hot and humid environment will destroy the sack after a few months, so keep that in mind. I’m sure your hermit crabs would make great use out of it.

Related Do Hermit Crabs Need A Heat Lamp or Heating Pad? 

Wrapping Up for cool toys for hermit crabs

You must be spoilt for choice on which toy to purchase for your hermit crab. As you can see, you have lots of options, it is upon you decide on which one will work for your hermit crabs.

Simon Griffiths

Hi guys, my name is Simon, a fellow pet lover. I love everything about traditional and exotic pets so I am here to help you create a better home for your pets.