A Ross vet student blog.
Playing with kittens with hands is so much fun but I found out that doing so makes it so they like doing that as adults. Unfortunately, adults can cause quite a bit more damage than kittens. I've learned to restrain from playing with my hands so they learn only to play with toys or each other. But it's definitely a difficult temptation to resist.
That's one school of thought, the "hands aren't toys" method, and it's certainly a legitimate point. Personally, I've always enjoyed physically playing with my pets, either wrestling with my dogs growing up or playing "gotcher belly" with cats. It's down to individual owners and the behavior they want to encourage. I would say remember also that young animals learn how to play appropriately by wrestling with their siblings. When a bite or scratch becomes too hard, the puppy/kitten will let its brother/sister know by squealing and disengaging from play. I do a similar thing with my kittens. The moment they start biting too hard I make a loud noise, pull my hand away and refuse to play until they scale it back a bit.