The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a short bout of practice on reaching behavior in late preterm infants at the onset of goal-directed reaching. The study was designed as a blind, three-arm parallel-group, randomized controlled, clinical trial. Thirty-six late preterm infants were recruited from a maternity hospital and allocated according to computer generated randomization into groups that received reaching practice based on either a blocked schedule, a serial schedule, or no practice. Practice consisted of a 4. min session of induced reaching using a toy in three activities guided by a physical therapist. The activities were elicited in separate blocks for the blocked practice group and in a pre-established order for the serial practice group. The control group stayed in the physical therapist's lap but was not stimulated to reach. The infants were assessed 3.3. ±. 1.4 days after the onset of goal-directed reaching in three tests: pre-test (immediately before practice), post-test (immediately after practice), and retention test (24. h after post-test). During assessments, the infants were seated in a baby chair and a toy was presented at his/her midline within reaching distance for 2. min. Changes in the number of reaches, proportions of uni/bimanual reaches and kinematic parameters of reaching were main outcome measures. From pre- to post-test, the amount of reaches and bimanual reaches increased in the serial practice group, but the increase was not maintained in the retention test. Kinematic parameters were not affected by practice. Changes in the reaching behavior of late preterm infants can be triggered after the first few minutes of toy-oriented experience based on a serial practice schedule. These changes are not consolidated one day later. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.