Gerbils are very active and playful animals, and should be provided with a variety of toys and equipment to entertain themselves (and you!) with. Most toys can be found at pet stores, but some things such as cardboard can be found around the house. Gerbils are curious animals, and will stick their noses into most things, so make sure your gerbil will be safe. Ensure there are no holes in products the gerbil can get their head stuck in. Also, once plastic has been chewed on, remove it from the cage. Make sure the toys cannot be splintered or shaded by the gerbil.
A wheel is enjoyed by many (but not all) gerbils, and can provide good exercise. Ensure the wheel is big enough for your gerbil to run straight and tall, and has a solid running frame. Don’t purchase a wheel with sections, as a gerbil’s tail may get caught. Not all gerbils enjoy wheels, so don’t worry if they are not into it.
An alternative can be to roll up old filing folders (which are cut down smaller) until they hold the round shape, and then place them in the cage. Other untreated wood products are also found to be popular, and a little longer lasting. Even brown paper bags give plenty of chances for shredding and hiding. Climbing is also a favorite pastime of gerbils, so introducing solid equipment for them to scamper on is a favorite. Just make sure the lid is tightly secured on the cage. There are wooden ladder, see-saws and various other accessories available. Plastic items can be used, but as these can splinter, you must pay attention to their condition. Also available is PVC tubing, which is said to be longer lasting.
Gerbils enjoy rolling in dust, so place a ceramic bowl in the cage, and add a couple of inches of chinchilla dust. This is fun for the gerbil, as well as allowing them to clean their fur. Lastly, gerbils enjoy digging, so try to make some part of the cage deeper than the rest with a good amount of hay and wood to create a layer for the gerbil.