If you’d like to spice up your garden or backyard with a path, don’t rush into it. Take some time to consider the various options available to you.
The more you curve or meander a path, the more sense of mystery (and discovery) you get as you walk it. On the other hand, if the path is a functional route you take to carry stuff from the garden shed, make it straight.
Gravel, crushed brick and other loose material. Easy to prepare. Just dig down a few inches, lay landscape carpet or 6 mil plastic on the earth, and pour on cleaned gravel. Edgers help keep grass from moving in on the path. But gravel may want to work its way out of the path into the grass, and the stones can be sharp on little knees, so maybe not your best bet if you have kids.
Brick, concrete pavers or stones. A little more work and expense, but less maintenance. Dig down further, apply a layer of gravel, a layer of stone dust and your path material. Fill in between the pavers with sand (for a tight fit) and earth (for more open layouts). Then encourage moss or low vegetation.
Square patio stones. These old standbys can be attractive. Rather than trying to place them close together, separate them by a few inches, and grow grass between them.
Wood. You can lay short sections of pressure-treated posts or railway ties side by side — directly on a bed of gravel and sand. The actual path can be as low as you desire; just dig deep enough that you can set them into the ground and backfill. Or lay sleepers (pressure treated 2x4s or 4x4s) on the ground, and nail short deckboards on top of these.