A cockatoo needs a lot of attention. When it does not have other cockatoos around it, it will have to get its attention from you. One way to give it this is by playing with it.
Playing with a cockatoo
A cockatoo plays with you in a different way than a dog or a child. Sometimes it is kind of hard to understand what the fun is in interacting with you. Generally you can say that a cockatoo just loves to be connected with you, do get attention and to do something as a group with you. This means that playing with your cockatoo could mean just to make noise with him, to encourage him jumping around or doing a little ‘dance’. Some cockatoos like to play with a ball with you. You roll or throw it at him, he collects it and throws it back or at least throws it. Usually this game ends up with different human – pet roles than with dogs; generally the human is running after the ball and the cockatoo just throws it.
Training your cockatoo as entertainment
A perfect way to give your cockatoo attention and distraction from everyday life is to train him to do a trick. This is also great fun for you, because you can actually show off some nice tricks by your bird! You can teach cockatoos many kinds of tricks, from mimicking sounds to jumping to rollerskating.
You can read all about training your cockatoo here.
Most cockatoos love to cuddle. Not all species do and not all individuals do. My umbrella cockatoo loves it! I consider it quality time with him before playtime.