If you're looking for a tolerant bird for children, this is one. Some people say they're too shy to be handled a lot, but the ones I've had have been friendly, curious and able to put up with being held, even by young children. In fact, the Buff Orpingtons I've had are almost always the favored bird to be held by the children that come to visit.
Opringtons were developed in Orpington, England in the 1800's. They come in several colors (black, white, blue), but buff is the most common and popular color (Hence: Buff Orpington). They're large (up to 8 pounds), docile birds that are known for their beautiful buff colored feathers.
These hens are above average layers of light brown eggs, usually laying consistantly through the winter. They're also known to go broody and to be good mothers. The ones I've had prove that. Broodiness is a very common occurance, but if allowed to raise chicks, they've been excellent, attentive mothers.
Buff Orpingtons are tolerant of cold temperatures and being kept in smaller spaces (if you don't have room to let them roam free), which makes them a good choice for a small backyard flock/small yard.
This breed is considered a dual purpose breed, meaning they've been bred for both egg production and meat.
I like to keep at least a couple of Buff Orpingtons in my flock at all times.
If you've got a broody hen, here's information on that too.
Other good choices for backyard birds: