Game nights allows kids the chance to decompress after a tiring week of school, homework and extracurricular responsibilities and brings family members closer together, at least for a few hours. Child psychology and psychiatry experts even suggest that playing simple board games increases executive function, processing speed, concentration skills and more. So this Friday, order a freshly made Papa John’s pizza, open up some board games and settle in for a night full of belly laughs and fun.

Improve Reasoning and Problem Solving Skills

Chess is the world’s oldest game and for good reason — it’s about strategically looking ahead and anticipating consequences of each player’s actions. It takes a great deal of focus and impulse control. A study done in 2000  indicated that students who receive chess instruction have better performances in mathematics, non-verbal reasoning and spatial analysis.

Improve Memory and Visual Recognition

Games like Scrabble are not just good for improving spelling and vocabulary; they also help players to exercise better memory skills. It doesn’t just benefit kids, either. A recent University of Calgary study claims that Scrabble players are able to increase visual word recognition well into adulthood.

Improve Attention and Concentration

Quarto! forces kids to utilize attention and concentration skills in order to keep track of multiple game piece configurations on the board. This complex game is best suited for older children as it requires its players to focus on pieces that could not only lead to a winning configuration for their own board, but also for their opponent’s as well.

Games To Improve Processing Skills

Card games are great for improving the speed at which kids absorb and react to new information. Egyptian Ratscrew (also known as Slap) requires players to place cards face up on a stack of existing cards without looking at them beforehand. When players spot a potential opportunity for points (a matching pair, a matching pair on either side of a different card), they slap the pile to claim it. This game also teaches impulse control as players who slap the wrong cards lose their existing points.

The truth is, any type of quality time spent with family lowers stress levels, makes kids feel valued and leads to better performance in the classroom. Don’t forget to complete the perfect night in with a delicious pizza delivered to your door! You don’t even have to leave the house for real cheese, garlic butter-basted dough and fresh toppings all in one bite. At Papa John’s Atlanta, we love game night too and are happy to help make yours a success.