Our bodies are always available to take measurements. Dollar bills, mobile phones, and white canes can be tape measures too! My top thumb joint is just over one Inch, the side of my index finger a half inch, my outstretched hand seven inches and my cane two inches short of 4 feet. It’s easy to forget that these measures are just at hand!
Reading the numbers on a ruler or tape measure is slow and often involve magnifiers or tiny braille dots. But you have measuring tools at your finger and toe-tips!
Even knowing whether an apple is big or small can be tricky. If you close your hand around it you will know because what your hand can grasp is deeply familiar. Our ancestors used “handfuls” in recipes for rice, vegetables etc., and you may get very good at it, but still this leaves out much modern measuring. Are the spoonfuls of cookie dough you are placing on the baking sheet, or the screw holes you are making in the wood the same size and the same distance apart? For this you need some kind of measure
Plan a time to measure your body and any other equipment you might use. This one time you do need good light, a magnifier, a braille ruler or tape measure, or a friend with good sight. Do this measuring carefully so you are sure you’ve got it right. With those measurements noted down, or memorized you are all set!
What to Measure:
- Your foot, with and without your regular shoe. Now you can put one foot tightly in front of the other and walk across the rug or room. Check the photo at the top of this post.
- The first joint of your thumb or finger. Choose whichever is nearer to an exact measure.
- Hand from longest finger-tip to heel of palm or from pinkie tip to thumb tip with hand outstretched
- Dollar bills are exactly 6 inches long, or measure your mobile phone in its case – it may be handier than a bill
- Your white cane is also a measuring tool. Use it to measure larger items, tables, windows etc. –
- Get a made-to-measure item such as a short piece of dowel to measure the distance between cookies or screw-holes , a spoon could work too
- Use cup and spoon measures. Swiped flat with the back of a knife for volume measurements like cookie dough
A detailed and accurate sense of size and weight does take a while to come alive. Your brain is plastic and if you keep going in a gentle way you will develop some fine new skills and also sharpen up your brain and memory.