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The Best Parrots for Kids

parrot-admin by Kyle       Last updated Jul. 26, 2017

Choosing a parrot or pet bird for your kids can be challenging.

There are many things to consider before making a decision.

Here are 3 questions to ask:

  • Will it bite, scratch or harm your child?
  • Will your child be too loud around the parrot?
  • Will your child handle the parrot too aggressively?

Before we even get into discussing which parrot will be best, we need to first discuss if your child is old enough and responsible enough to have or play with a parrot.

Simply mentioning "an appropriate age" is not good enough as age does not directly equate to responsibility and maturity.

Also take into consideration how traumatic it would be for your child if they end up injuring or killing the parrot in an accident, not to mention how terrible this will be for the parrot.

The smaller the parrot, the more vulnerable it is to being stepped on or sat on. The bigger the parrot, the more likely your child may end up getting a bite if they frighten it.

At the end of the day, a parrot is a life and it shouldn't be taken lightly.

Where possible, you should give your child responsibility of feeding the parrot and making sure it has enough water. Of course, discretion and oversight needs to be used here.

The ultimate responsibility for the care and well-being of the parrot falls down to the parents.

Regardless of whether your child makes promises like "I promise to clean the cage every day," the chances are that you as the parents will end up being the primary caretakers of the bird until they are fully responsible enough to bear full responsibility for the well-being of it.

With that said, these are 7 species suggestions to choose from:




Cockatiels are one of the most popular pet birds in South Africa. They are also great for families who may not be experienced parrot owners.

Colours: Grey, White and Yellow with Orange cheeks

Size: Small (>33cm)

Weight: 80 – 100 grams

Wingspan: +/- 50cm

Lifespan: Up to 20 years

Sounds: Whistler

Social: Yes

Cockatiels are very social and they need plenty of toys and perches. They are also talented whistlers and are known for their whistle serenades which are often for a loved person, their favourite object and even their own mirror reflection J

Some cockatiels can even learn to speak a few words or phrases!

They love to chew paper and may chew objects (like cardboard, books, magazines, wicker baskets, etc.) if they are left alone – so be warned.

On a practical note: they need daily feeding, water changing, cage cleaning, and regular attention.

A cage with a large door front is ideal because it makes it easier to return to its cage.




Cockatoos are also very popular in South Africa. There are many different colours and species available.

Colours: Black, Grey, White and many other colours available

Size: Small to Medium (>58cm)

Weight: 300 – 880 grams

Wingspan: +/- 55cm

Lifespan: Up to 80+ years

Sounds: Vocal

Social: Yes

Cockatoos are naturally curious, as well as very intelligent. They can be very loud, especially when seeking attention as well as at sunrise and sunset.

These beautiful parrots are frequently sought as companion birds. They require a devoted owner and training from a young age.

This video is hilarious J




The Rose-ringed Parakeet is the most popular parakeet in South Africa. These birds make excellent pets, provided they are given daily attention and good care.

Colours: Green with Red beak

Size: Small to Medium (>42cm)

Weight: 120 - 140 grams

Wingspan: +/- 48cm

Lifespan: Up to 30+ years

Sounds: Vocal

Social: Yes

If taught from an early age, they tend to mimic human speech. They are very receptive to learning. In fact, they are considered to be one of the best talking parakeets and can learn a vocabulary of up to 250 words.

Rose-ringed Parakeets enjoy chewing on toys and they love climbing. Make sure you have plenty of bird-safe chewable toys to allow them to satisfy their natural urge to chew.




Amazon parrots are known for being the "life of the party." They are usually comical and often love to be the centre of attention.

Colours: Green

Size: Medium (>45cm)

Weight: 200 - 400 grams

Wingspan: +/- 60cm

Lifespan: Up to 50+ years

Sounds: Vocal

Social: Yes

Amazon parrots are very playful. They need a spacious cage with toys and swings, as well as a climbing rope and ladders to encourage movement.

They love to mimic human speech and other sounds, so be sure to teach them the right tunes J




Lovebirds are beautiful little birds that are generally better for older kids due to the fragility of these birds.

Colours: Green, Orange and Red

Size: Small (>15cm)

Weight: 40 - 60 grams

Wingspan: +/- 25cm

Lifespan: Up to 15+ years

Sounds: Whistler

Social: Yes

Lovebirds are highly social and need the company of their own kind, so make sure you have 2 in a cage.

These birds can learn some tricks and their noise level is usually much lower than larger birds. Make sure that there is a play gym and lots of toys available for these active birds.

Other advantages of lovebirds are their small size which makes them perfect for small apartments and feeding costs are very low.




Lorikeets are small, comical parrots that love social interaction. If you can make a daily commitment to engage with these parrots, they would be a great choice.

Colours: Red, Blue, Yellow and Green

Size: Small to Medium (>40cm)

Weight: 40 - 150 grams

Wingspan: +/- 25cm depending on species

Lifespan: Up to 15+ years

Sounds: Whistler

Social: Yes

They are highly intelligent and are able to learn tricks and other behaviours fairly quickly compared with other parrots.

Don't be frightened if you find the lorikeet on its back – they often sleep on their back which normally gives the owners a bit of a shock.

They love water and being bathed on a regular basis – daily if possible.

You must watch this video J




Parrotlets are very similar to parakeets in the sense that they are 'miniature parrots'. They are actually much like budgies in their appearance.

Colours: Green and Blue

Size: Small (>18cm)

Weight: 20 - 40 grams

Wingspan: +/- 25cm

Lifespan: Up to 15+ years

Sounds: Vocal

Social: Yes

Parrotlets have a fun personality, so make sure they get plenty of attention. They also match well with having another parrotlet in the cage as well.

Look at this little guy J


Fake Fluffy Parrot


If you are still having doubts, just go for one of these J

They are the cheapest parrots on the market and you don't have to feed them or take them to the vet J


After reading this list, hopefully you have enough information to make an informed decision on the best parrot for your kids.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.