If you remember ever creating sandart with colored sand, This is Sand is the same concept. Instead of using actual sand, students go to a color page and "grab" a color with their cursor, then return to their art page and click on the mouse to see that color start to fall on the page. To change colors, go back to the color page, click on another choice of color, then return again to your art page.
It may seem like a mindless waste of time, but two things in particular stand out to me -
*This is Sand is very non-threatening and user friendly. You don't have to be an "artist" to use this program. Students' designs improve over time. They start adding some thought and care into their design and realize if they want something besides a triangle, they need to think of some spatial relations of their page and how to create what they have in mind.
*It's a very CALMING. If you have a student who is agitated, upset, or is just antsy and needs to calm down This is Sand is an amazing tool that can help with just that. Because at first it doesn't require any deep thought, anyone can sit down and start with it. Once focused on their project, students will start to breathe slower and calm down. No, I don't believe any studies have been done with this app, but I've seen it work its magic time and again!
Once they learn the wonder of working in This is Sand, students come from home and share that they've figured out that it's a free app that they can download onto their phones and then they can happily, calmly create all kinds of colorful wonders!