When I was young, my grandmother had a tin of buttons. When we went to visit her, she would let us choose one and make us a button whirligig. They are timeless toys!
All you need is a large button and a string! I used 1 1/2 yards of embroidery floss.
Loop the string through one button hole and then come back through the button hole directly across so that you have the 2 string ends on the same side of the button. Tie the ends together.
Loop the string around 2 fingers with the button suspended in the center.
Holding onto the string ends begin to swing the button in a large circle.
Continue circling until the strings are twisted.
Then, begin to pull your hands out and then back in. The string will wind and unwind again with the button whirling and humming in the center. Check out the strings motion in the photo above!