Seeking advice on blank slate back yard!
We are looking to make our dirt pit back yard into something functional for our family. We have 3 young kids and no dogs right now, so we're hoping to be able to plant some seed and grow grass/lay sod before summer really starts. The previous owners had dug out a hole and filled it with sand for an above-ground pool. They piled all of the dirt up around the edges and it's been sitting there for years. We've done some work to fill it back in as much as we can with the dirt they dug out, and surrounding rocks/gravel. We're going to be converting the shed to a playhouse for the kids and most likely leaving it where it is.
We're in the Zone 6 area of Western Oregon, so weather is pretty mild. Our house's front door faces South-East. The soil seems okay, not great. It's pretty hard, so I believe it may be clay (though I'm not sure). It seems to drain okay, as we don't have standing water even after heavy rains. We are beginners when it comes to landscaping, so we're on the fence between bringing someone in to do the work, or doing it ourselves. We don't own a truck, so it would all be rental based hauling.
What we're looking for is something that is pretty easily maintained, with dark bark around the edges, and a decent sized yard (or as large as we can have with our layout and large tree). We would like this to be a backyard that the kids can play in, so we're considering wood chips for a play area under the tree if that would make sense.
I have included pictures and a video of the yard in it's current state, and we're open to ideas! Our budget is pretty limited (under 2k if possible), which is why we're trying to keep simple without stonework or deck building. Please let us know what you think would work for this space!