How to Play With a Pet Snake

While snakes can't play catch or cuddle on the sofa, that doesn't mean you can't spend some fun times interacting with them. How much you can play with them, however, depends partly on the type of snake you have. Some even-tempered snakes, such as corn snakes, are easy to handle and can learn to enjoy human company over time.

Gliding Away

Snakes that are comfortable with human touch often glide around and in between their handler's fingers, hands and arms. To play with them this way, you first need to gain your snake's trust, so she feels at ease when you touch her.

To do this, start by handling your snake for short periods of time as soon as you get her. The younger the snake, the easier it will be for her to get used to human touch, so start early.

Before you handle your snake, keep some things in mind:

  • Choose a safe area like your bed or couch, so there's no risk of injury if you accidentally drop the snake.
  • Close the door to the room, so the snake can't escape or get loose. Snakes are fast and if yours gets loose in the apartment, it could take hours to get her back
  • Keep touching and play sessions short -- five minutes or less to start -- especially while your snake is just getting used to being handled.

Sit comfortably and try to relax. Then let the snake play between your fingers and explore your hands and arms. Return her to the tank before she gets too agitated. With time, she'll be able to enjoy just "hanging out" with you on the couch.

Playing Rules

While it might feel like play to you, your snake will be nervous at first. Daily handing will ease her discomfort, but it might take a while until your snake is comfortable enough to be playful and coil around your neck. Don't rush the process if you want to ensure everybody is having fun.

Snakes like warm environments, so one fun thing to do with your snake is to wear a loose shirt and let her slide inside. Once your snake is relaxed enough around you, she might find a spot on your stomach or against you to explore or even take a nap.