Buttons are great for playing and learning (once toddlers are old enough not to put them in their mouths).
I emptied my Bag of Buttons into a wooden tray and we practiced counting, colours, sorting (by colour), shapes, and sizes (big/small). She also just had fun moving them around.
Inevitably some ended up on the floor and I joined in the game. Not only did this make her joyfully delighted but I’d carefully chosen an afternoon when we weren’t in a hurry and dinner was cooked (leftovers). The floor being covered in food / colouring pencils / toys etc isn’t uncommon as a parent. It can be incredibly frustrating and it’s nice to have a change of perspective and see it as art instead.
Then we played treasure hunt. We collected the buttons into our treasure chest. She was surprisingly focussed and I found it surprisingly peaceful. It was fun finding buttons with flowers on them, or admiring different shades of colours, or unusual shapes.