San Francisco mother Joan Barnes created the Gymboree Play & Music Program in 1976 when she couldn't find a safe place for new parents and children to play and exercise together. There are now locations across the United States and throughout the world. Gymboree Play & Music centers offer different classes each week for children ranging from newborn through 4 years old. Classes are designed to stimulate the senses and encourage children's development.
In 1986, the company opened a chain of clothing stores named Gymboree. Gymboree stores offer coordinating children's clothing. The sizes range from birth to age twelve. Gymboree, in its current incarnation (it has reorganized several times) is incorporated under the Gym-Mark, Inc nameplate. It currently operates 630 Gymboree Retail, 150 Gymboree Outlet, 130 Janie & Jack, and 290 Crazy 8 stores in the United States.
Crazy 8 was started in August, 2007. It features lower priced clothing and is Gymboree's direct competitor for The Children's Place and Old Navy.