I come from a religious background that celebrates its pioneer heritage often. We had many activities as young children, dressed up as pioneers. This is a simple pioneer toy that my mom often made for us because, well, it is simple and it kept us quiet.
This is called a buzzsaw. You can carve and whittle and drill your own center piece of wood like the pioneers did, or, you can be lazy like me and find the biggest button you can get your hands on.
After you have found the button. Take a long length of thread, crochet thread works the best. Thread it through both holes, until there is plenty to both cords on BOTH sides of the button. Tie off the string and you should have something like the picture below.
To play the game, hold the buzzsaw like the picture below. You then begin wrapping it over itself.
Until it has become tightly wound like in the picture below. You then pull on the edges, which still have your fingers in them, and you see how many times you can get it to wrap and unwrap. It is a simple game but has entertained me many an hour.
Excuse the flour on my shirt, I was making the most delicious calzones that I shall give you the recipe for shortly.