Mni Wiconi (Water Gives Life)

Children love to play in and with water. Water feels delightful; it sparkles and captures light, it moves in waves, and splashes in response to moving hands. Children love to make water move faster or slower, let it drop-drop, or watch it swirl. In their playful exploration, they can conduct small experiments with water and its properties, gaining understandings they can apply to the river, animal habitats, and the bathtub. Children will explore how water lifts and carries some objects, while others sink.

Mni Wiconi is a key thread in the Museum’s exploration of Dakota people, language, and culture. Water is the first medicine, the source of all life. It is powerful and beautiful; it teaches us, if we choose to listen. We can’t control water, but we can experience and be in relationship to it. With these values in mind, this exhibit encourages children to see, hear, and know water in a variety of open-ended ways. The primary tool is their hand; children guide and move water through water flutes and lightly-spraying fountains, move wooden boats, paint with water against a stone surface, or play with a vortex tube.

The water exhibit is not yet open and requires additional funding. To make a contribution, follow this link.