Introduction: The Spin Out Game - Hours of Fun for Dogs, Raccoons, and Other Animals!

Picture of The Spin Out Game - Hours of Fun for Dogs, Raccoons, and Other Animals!

This Spin Out Game will fascinate animals of all types! It keeps their naturally curious nature busy trying to get the treats. It gives dogs something to do to occupy their minds and time and creates fascination in the animal world if placed in a location where wildlife lives. This game was fun to make and has been even more fun to see how animals have reacted to it in nature. A few times I have placed pecans in their shells, corn, etc...on top of The Spin Out Game. Birds generally get those treats but a few raccoons have climbed on top to get all of the treats. Cut pieces of apple can be placed on the ends of the dowel rods to attract and feed birds.

Step 1: Let's Get Started Making a Spin Out Game.

Picture of Let's Get Started Making a Spin Out Game.

Gather the following materials and put it together like this:

  1. 2 or 3 bottles to hold corn, cereal, dog food, or other dry feed to spin out. I used a cranberry juice bottle and 2 one liter soda bottles.
  2. 1 dowel rod to hold and spin the bottles.
  3. scrap wood for the structure and to hold the dowel rod - make your base sturdy enough that the weight of various animals won't knock it down. You don't want them to be hurt if they jump on it and it falls down. I used 3 pieces of decking I had left over from a sidewalk project. I also used other pieces of scrap wood for the top piece and the side supports.
  4. screws and a drill with a drill bit to drill holes through the bottles for the dowel rod.
  5. tape measure to make sure the sides and the top and bottom are the same length.
  6. Use your drill and drill a hole on each side of the support to slide the dowel rod through.
  7. Screw the wood together. I started with the base. I added one board on each side of the base to make it more sturdy and less likely to fall over if an animal jumps on it.
  8. Slide the dowel rod through the bottles and the side supports.
  9. Cereal, dog food, corn, or any other dry food to "spin out".
  10. Make sure your bottles will spin.
  11. Fill the bottles with edibles....set it out and see "who plays".

Step 2: Intent of This Spin Out Game and Surprising Effect of the Game for Wildlife.

Picture of Intent of This Spin Out Game and Surprising Effect of the Game for Wildlife.

I created this from an idea I got from a friend (Cindy Felio). I modified that idea and came up with The Spin Out Game. My dog was curious about this Spin Out Game and would play with it at times but when I put it on our property where wild animals thrive- they went crazy for it! My dogs seem to have an increased interest in The Spin Out Game when I have it filled with corn, grains, cereal, or dog food and set it out on our property. They want to be the only ones to get the edibles! I have noticed that on my family property in east Texas the crows are extremely curious about anything in the environment. I have several cameras set up on the property to catch clips and pictures of the various animals on the land. In doing so I have been surprised at the number of crows who are seen interacting with items and how curious the raccoons seem to be. I have had raccoons shake cameras and try to take them and I have had crows attack cameras and get on them and try to peck the lenses. They really are fascinating to watch. I intended for the crows to "play the game" more but it ended up being the raccoons who love the Spin Out Game the most! The animals seem to have mastered the game and understand to spin the bottles around to get the food so I have increased the rigor of the game. They still get the treats but I added tape strips to part of the top of the bottles. The animals will have to work a little harder to get the food out. Some of the animal videos from my game cameras on our east Texas property can be found at Update: When I went to the feed store to buy more corn to refill The Spin Out Game, the manager of D&D Hardware & Feed, in Warren, TX, Donald Bass, Jr. gave me a free bag of roasted corn and soybean mix and I bought apple and persimmon scented corn. We refilled yesterday with Persimmon scented corn. I will compare animal activity to see if animals are more attracted to this corn than plain corn. I will use the other feed next week when I refill it again.


h4nc made it! (author)2017-06-18

Thanks for your inspiration!

Flyballruby (author)2016-03-17

Foxy .... How do you drill the holes in the bottle evenly? I don't drink pop and don't want to have to keep buying it to get empty bottles to keep trying. Lol

FoxysMyGirl (author)Flyballruby2016-03-23

I use a drill with a long bit. Good question. Thanks!

MaddyH1 made it! (author)2015-09-20

Different build but the idea is the same! I love this and so does Mr Casanova :)

tinaciousz (author)2015-04-20

Congrats on being selected as a finalist! Your project rocks. Keep doing awesome things and sharing on Instructables. <3

DogmatiX (author)2015-04-02

This is awesome! Great instructable! By the way your dog's so cute! ?

FoxysMyGirl (author)DogmatiX2015-04-03

Thank you DogmatiX!

FoxysMyGirl (author)2015-03-29

Disimulado, Thank you for the link. That is an amazing story! I love it! Amy

disimulado (author)2015-03-27

Keep a watch for what the crows might bring you back. Have you seen this?

You might want to vary what you give them until you find the crow's favorite food.

Susitna (author)2015-03-20

I can't do it in my yard because I have a neighbor who would call animal control, but I have a friend nearby who would have fun watching wildlife play with it.

Spokehedz (author)Susitna2015-03-24

This is what really makes me incredibly nervous about moving into a house. You can't pick your neighbors, sadly, and I would have far too much fun messing with them. Legally, of course. Chickens. Lots of places allow chickens and not really much of anything they can do about it. Bees as well. Who dosen't like honey? Stuff like that.

FoxysMyGirl (author)Susitna2015-03-20

Maybe your friend will make one and the two of you can enjoy watching the animals. It is good for dogs and who knows, maybe cats too. Thanks!

Susitna (author)FoxysMyGirl2015-03-21

I'm the one who will do the making. When rig a a motion controlled camera I'll set one up in the back yard, where "Nosy Rosey" cannot see it and enjoy the fun.

FoxysMyGirl (author)Susitna2015-03-21

I hope you do make one Susitna. I don't understand why a neighbor would call animal control since it is only meant as a game and fun for animals. Maybe because it might attract other animals to your neighborhood?

shannonlove (author)2015-03-22

I really great idea for dogs, but I would caution against feeding wild mammals because it can get them killed. This is especially true of predators.

Human scent will linger all over the gadget and will accustom the animals to associate human scent with food. This is will make them more likely to invade human habits which puts them at risk of being killed by cars, dogs or being shot or trapped as pest.

Feeding deer and predators has much different effects than feeding birds.

Spokehedz (author)shannonlove2015-03-24

I'm pretty sure that the garbage cans they already eat out of is going to have way more "human scent" in them than a plastic bottle and dog food in it...

pawnopoopoo (author)2015-03-24

There is nothing wrong with giving wildlife a helping hand. Raccoons, opossums and skunks get into my garbage anyway so when I have something that they would eat left over from dinner[like a nice turkey carcass after the holidays], I just leave it out on the ground and save them the trouble of knocking over the cans. I couldn't care less what my neighbours think. Thanks for this cool instructable. I am going to make one.

dawn.tapper.1 (author)2015-03-24

hi I think this is brilliznt I will also use smaller bottles on a smaller frame for the squirrels, as they eat all the bird seed as well and I watch the way they run and jump over the whole garden to get the treats I leave for them , however they will also eat the bird feed do this way I pray they stop nicking the bird seed and leave some for the birds . great idea my dog will love the bigger version ... thanks x

That is a great idea!

Catley (author)2015-03-24

What a delightful idea! I don't have a dog right now, but I am saving these directions in case I ever do again. It would be fun at any time, but something like this should go a long way towards keeping a dog happy when it has to be left alone in the house awhile.

FoxysMyGirl (author)Catley2015-03-24

Thank you!

davidandora (author)2015-03-24

Cool idea! I'm always looking for new activities for the pooch. His favorite is a pretty basic game of hide and seek, which keeps him occupied for about 15-20 minutes looking for the 30 or so tidbits of jerky hidden around at accessible locations. I'm going to give this a go. Thanks for the great instructable. I enjoyed the animal clips too.

FoxysMyGirl (author)davidandora2015-03-24

Thank you. For my dog I am going to increase the challenge and block part of the opening so she has to spin more but only on one bottle since my great danes do fine with the game as it is and only my pit mix always wants and seems to enjoy greater challenges. I hope you post pics of your's soon.

FoxysMyGirl (author)2015-03-22

Shannonlove, I don't really see how it is different than putting out a feeder of corn for deer or mineral or salt licks on your property. It would be very wrong if I was baiting to kill animals which I am not and would not do. I am definitely Not attracting wildlife to a place they do not already live. I have watched them on our property for a very long time and the only thing that has changed is I have given them another way to find treats. The same animals are here (no new players to the game) but with an increase in feed there is an increase in the visits of some of the animals that already inhabit our property, the same effect every hunter causes when he/she plants a food plot or places feed in a feeder. I am glad you are concerned about wildlife though. Thanks!

fenikkusu (author)FoxysMyGirl2015-03-24

You are correct there are no new players to the game. I think though too that Shannonlove has a point as well. If for instance you lived in Lincoln N.H. where there are black bears and the town borders a national forest where there are many black bears (which really aren't very dangerous to man btw) The forestry service would not be very happy with the wild bears being extra attracted to back yards and getting more used to being around humans. Such bears have to be trapped and moved to more remote areas or if they are too much of a problem they have to be destroyed, which is sad, but it does occasionally happen. They do get used to getting closer to people and associate scents of food with humans. They still likely won't attack but will become a nuisance marauding garbage etc. So I think some logic and intelligence need to go hand in hand with this project.

BUT if you don't have a specific problem of that nature and most people don't (!) I think this is perfectly good and interesting. I also think its great to put out in the winters especially where I live in N.H. to help animals get through the long cold winters and survive until spring! I have deer that travel through my backyard and I wonder if they would take advantage and figure out their own way to play and eat using this toy. I do worry about them during the winter when we have 5 feet of snow on the ground and they are forced to eat tree bark to survive, but I have chickens too and I don't need to attract foxes and raccoons. I still may consider it for winter... thinking about cutting one of the bottles a little bit and loading it with catnip laced cat toys and catnip outright. I bet my indoor cats would have a blast with it! Thanks for sharing... there are always various consideration in everything... I think this is cool and has its place among cool ideas!

erichapman (author)FoxysMyGirl2015-03-24

I think what shannonlove is saying isn't about baiting in animals but rather keeping wild animals wild.
This ible looks like a lot of fun for pets, though.

FoxysMyGirl (author)2015-03-22

Thank you Linny! :)

linny (author)2015-03-22

I like that you contribute with something to help our four-footed friends. And you figured out that all games have to be food-reward based.

Good for you!

nerfrocketeer (author)2015-03-21

Great idea!


twelveben (author)2015-03-21

Looks great! I have a small plastic ball that I can fill with food. My dog chases it around for hours getting fed throughout the day.

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-20

Looks great! I have a small plastic ball that I can fill with food. My dog chases it around for hours getting fed throughout the day.

FoxysMyGirl (author)tomatoskins2015-03-20

Those are pretty cool. I have seen those balls but have never had one. The little dog in the pictures is very, very curious. I have two great danes that are not nearly as curious in nature. They may or may not play with a ball that gives out treats. They are rather lazy. The little dog would love it though! Thanks for your comment. Amy

satoko68 (author)2015-03-20

The hubster made a bottle toy for our hairy son the other day, just out of the blue. Didn't cost a cent, other than the treats we put inside, but he loves it more than any other toy he has. Five minutes well spent, because he plays with it daily :-)

FoxysMyGirl (author)satoko682015-03-20

That sounds like a great idea!

Kiteman (author)2015-03-20

That is very cool!

Maybe the reason the corvids don't play so much is a lack of grip - you could add cord loops or straps to each end of the bottle, let the birds grip those.

FoxysMyGirl (author)Kiteman2015-03-20

Grip cords is a Great idea! I think I will try that. I thought they didn't play because they didn't have to. The raccoons are very messy and eat most of what they spill but they track it around and leave a lot on the ground too and the birds and rabbits come in to clean it up. Thanks Kiteman!

Kiteman (author)FoxysMyGirl2015-03-20

Corvids are some of the most intelligent animals around - in Japan, they worked out that dropping nuts in front of cars was an easy way to open them, then they worked out that if you did the same on a pedestrian crossing, you could pick up the nuts without being squashed.

FoxysMyGirl (author)Kiteman2015-03-20

I saw that in a video. They are fascinating. I love to watch wildlife. Thanks for the comments! Amy

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